National Security

Marwa unveils National Drug Control Master Plan, explains implementation strategy

Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Chairman Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd) has unveiled the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) to tackle drug trafficking and abuse in the country and explained its implementation strategy.

Nigeria’s drug law enforcement stakeholders at the official unveiling of the Nation Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) on Monday December 6, 2021.

Scheduled to run from 2021-2025, NDCMP is a 5-year plan produced with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other key stakeholders. It was a major update of the three previous national plans, which were largely not fully implemented.

NDLEA Secretary Shadrach Haruna, who represented Chairman Marwa, explained that the master plan was built on four major pillars to address the drug problems in the country and its associated consequences in a comprehensive, balanced, human rights-focused and gender-responsive manner.

The four pillars, according to him, include Drug Supply and Demand Reduction, Access to Controlled Medicines for Medical and Scientific Purposes as well as Governance and Coordination.

“All these 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,(MDAs) as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

“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,” he further explained.

The NDLEA chief also stated that NDCMP 2021-2025 provided the needed flip concerning strategic direction, effective prioritisation, collaboration and inclusiveness of all relevant partners and stakeholders.

“I wish to unequivocally state that I do not doubt that the mechanisms, methodologies and strategic outlines of NDCMP 2021-2015 would help.

“When they 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,” he added.

The NDLEA chief further explained that the document was the roadmap to achieving those goals, adding that the NDCMP 2021-2025 was the steering wheel for all the drug control campaigns currently going on in the country.

He said that the document not only addressed germane issues, but also filled the identified gaps in the ongoing responses.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami, SAN, who launched the document, said that the NDCMP was central to Nigeria’s approach to tackling the menace of drug abuse.

Represented by Mr Biodun Aikhomu, Malami said that the present administration was committed to decisively dealing with the problem of drug abuse in Nigeria.

The Country Representative of UNODC, Mr Oliver Stolpe, hoped that the master plan would have more impact than its predecessors.

Stolpe expressed confidence in the leadership of the NDLEA as well as the agency’s partners in tackling the problem of drug abuse.

Youths and Sports Development Minister Sunday Dare said that the country’s future was imperiled except the growing menace of drug abuse was checked.

Minister Dare stated that the launch of the master plan was of serious significance in the battle against the devastating effects of drug abuse.

Women Affairs Minister Dame Pauline Tallen also expressed worry over the growing drug addiction among the female gender of the country.

Minister Tallen said that it was a dangerous trend that should be halted, “as the country cannot make any progress except the problem of drugs abuse is addressed.”