The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in collaboration with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have launched the National Drugs Control Masterplan (NDCMP 2021-2025).
The event which held at the Nigerian Air Force conference centre, Abuja hosted top stakeholders in the war against illicit drugs.
Speaking at the event, chairman of DLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa noted that NDCMP is a five-year national action plan that addresses the drug problem and its associated consequences.
According to Marwa, “I wish to start this remark by acknowledging the support of the European Union through the “Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria” project (NGAV 16) and the UNODC for its enormous support to drug control activities and especially to the development of NDCMP 2021-2025, which is best described as a pragmatic “road map” to achieving our national drug control goals.
“The NDCMP is a five-year national action plan that addresses the drug problem and its associated consequences. There have been three previous blueprints, namely the inaugural 1999-2004 edition, the second edition covering the period 2008 to 2013, and the 2015–2020 document. NDCMP 2021-2025, the fourth and newest version, is built on the foundation of the three previous editions.
“This fourth edition of the NDCMP―which rests on four strategic pillars of Supply Reduction, Drug Demand Reduction, Access to Controlled Medicines for Medical and Scientific Purposes, Governance and Coordination addresses the drug issues in a comprehensive, balanced, human rights-focused and gender-responsive manner.
“Aside from its functionality, NDCMP 2021-2025 is symbolic of the continuity and advancement in the effort of the Nigerian government to address the evolving drug situation. It is the outcome of two years of coordinated, collaborative and multi-agency efforts comprising experts from all the relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as Civil Society Organizations.
“An effective campaign against the production, trafficking and abuse of illicit substances requires a result-oriented, proactive and all-encompassing Modus Operandi that is consistent with globally acceptable practices and standards. NDCMP 2021-2025 provides the needed fillip concerning strategic direction, effective prioritization of issues, collaboration and inclusiveness of all relevant partners and stakeholders.
“I wish to unequivocally state that I do not doubt that when the mechanisms, methodologies and strategic outlines of NDCMP 2021–2015 are implemented, we would substantially win the war against abuse and trafficking of controlled drugs and illicit substances.
“Also, with the expected active support and collaboration of all stakeholders, we would, in addition to drastically reducing the drug scourge, also effectively mitigate the harm caused by the abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs. Our ultimate objective is to promote the health, security and wellbeing of all living in Nigeria.
“This document is our roadmap to achieving those goals. NDCMP 2021-2025 is like a steering wheel for all the drug control campaigns currently going on in the country. The document not only addresses germane issues but also fills the identified gaps in the ongoing responses.
“Without the consistent backing of the Federal Government and other supportive entities we would not have reached the point where we are today. Therefore, I sincerely wish to express our profound appreciation to Muhammadu Buhari, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, for the strong support and commitment towards the development of this very important strategic document.
“Likewise, our immense appreciation goes to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, for his encouragement and dedication at various stages of articulating the NDCMP 2021–2025.
“To the members of the National Assembly, particularly, the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics as well as the House Committee on Narcotic Drugs, we say a big thank you.
The participation and input of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that make up the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Drug Control and other relevant stakeholders are duly acknowledged and applauded.”
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN was represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Financial Crimes and Compliance, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr.Biodun Aikhomu.
According to Malami, the significance of the launch cannot be overemphasized given the strategic and critical importance of this document in addressing the complex issues of production, cultivation, trafficking, sales and abuse of psychotropic drugs and illicit substances.
“The NDCMP is central to the country’s approach to the illicit drug conundrum with the overall goal of improved health and security for all Nigerians. The menace of drug abuse and trafficking is a global problem and Nigeria is not immune to this scourge. Our society is grappling with some of the consequences of the illicit drug menace, including its negative impact on public health, the corrosion of the social fabric and the attendant pernicious effects on the economy.
“In the past couple of years, since the release of the findings of the National Drug Use Survey 2018, we have had to sit up and come to terms with the grim reality of drug abuse in this country. Having a drug user population of 14.3 million people (14.4%), between 15 and 64 years of age, of which one in every four drug users is female while 376,000 people are high-risk drug users, is a wake-up call for urgent action.
“We cannot afford to trivialise the situation, especially with incontrovertible evidence that buttresses the fact that Nigeria has moved from a “transit” country to a “consumer” country where all sorts of illicit drugs are trafficked in and out of our territories.
“The picture is more frightening when you consider that Cannabis Sativa is being cultivated illegally in large quantities and large shipments of cocaine and heroin are coming in from South America and South-East Asia, with the production of Methamphetamine gathering momentum in the country.
“No responsible and responsive government will ignore the situation. That is why this present administration attaches priority to clamping down on drug trafficking and eradicating drug abuse in our society. And in the effort to turn around the situation, the government is leaving no stone unturned. Events of the past 11 months, including the launch of War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign and the impact-yielding Offensive Action of NDLEA, are a testament to that resolve. The NDCMP 2021-2025 that is to be launched today is strategic to the planned effort to change the drug abuse and trafficking narrative of Nigeria.” He said.
He added: “As a blueprint, this is the fourth strategic document, of a structured and coordinated approach to drug control, developed by Nigeria since 1999. The consistent development of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) speaks volumes about Nigeria’s commitment to continuity in her institutional framework for response to the evolving complex drug situation.
“The NDCMP 2021-2025, developed after extensive consultations with key stakeholders at the state and national levels, provides the critically needed focus in Nigeria’s drug control efforts, by setting out activities and measurable targets for the various government agencies involved in drug control, thereby buttressing the need for inclusive, multifaceted and concerted approach in our drug control efforts.
“I strongly believe that the rigorous implementation of the NDCMP 2021-2025 will bring the desired result in our calculated effort to exert control over the menace and overcome the challenges of the drug problem and related organized crimes in Nigeria. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honour to formally launch the NDCMP 2021-25.
“I urge all stakeholders responsible for reducing the supply of and the demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in Nigeria to place a high premium on the implementation of the provisions of this important document. It bears reminding that it is our collective responsibility to actualise the action points and achieve the goals of NDCMP 2021-2025.
“May I conclude by expressing appreciation to the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, for their roles in funding and facilitating the development of this strategic document. Also, the immeasurable contributions of the Inter-Ministerial Committee Members in the development of this document are highly appreciated.”