As the world marks 2020 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking today, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has urged Nigerians to eschew drug abuse and trafficking which already affects over 7 million Nigerians.
The agency’s Director, seaport operations, Omolade Faboyede stated this in a goodwill message on behalf of the Chairman /CEO, Col Muhammad Abdallah (rtd) as part of events to mark the global event.
Although the NDLEA boss indicated that no fewer than seven million people in Nigeria suffer various effects of illicit use of drugs, she assured that the agency was remain resolute in the vendetta against the menace and drug traffickers.
The agency posited that the number of those suffering from illicit drug use disorder exceeded this seven million, as one in every four deaths can be attributed to alcohol, tobacco and illicit prescription drugs.
The United Nations set aside June 26 every year to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking., with the theme for this year’s celebration is “Better Knowledge for Better care”.
Citing the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), she defined drug trafficking as an illegal trade that involves the production, selling, distributing and purchase of illicit narcotics. Available statistics show that there are over 200million illicit drug users worldwide and the number continues to grow every day. It was also gathered that about 190,000 people die due to illicit drugs every year.
Faboyede noted that there was a need to develop the political will to tackle the issue of drug trafficking, adding that the NDLEA should be strengthened and adequately funded to combat the menace in the country.
“The International day celebration is not only to educate on public issues but also to mobilize political will and resources to address and to celebrate the reinforced achievements of humanity. Drugs are chemicals that affect the body and brain. Some effects of drugs include health consequences that are long lasting and permanent. They can continue after a person has stopped using drugs,” she said.
She urged maritime stakeholders to enlighten their workers and seafarers on drug abuse, noting that the menace impacts negatively on the security, economy and the well-being of the country.
“Drug abuse and trafficking is a tool for terrorism financing, corruption inducement, political instability and undermines economic development and increases the level of insecurity and drug related crimes”, the Director posited.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has admonished the management of NDLEA to step up its anti-illicit drug use education as well as increasing its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts in order to bring it closer to Nigerians.
The Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam made this call in a goodwill message to NDLEA, urging them to expand the level of enlightenment on the issue for Nigerians to understand the dangers and negative effects of illicit drugs and other narcotics.
Aniebonam encouraged the agency to adopt a strategy of carrying out CSR projects in relevant communities as a way of bringing Nigerians close so as to dissuade them from drug trafficking and abuse.