Senate calls on Buhari to address this urgent need

By Joshua Amaugo March 1, 2016 18:12

Senate calls on Buhari to address this urgent need

The Senate has on Tuesday, March 1, called on the Federal Government to urgently consider placing the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, under the direct supervision of the presidency, like the case of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, and others.

This is coming after Senator Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos East, drew the attention of the Senate to the high rate of drug abuse in the country.

Ashafa regretted that Malaysia had recently alleged that 40 percent of foreigners arrested for drug trafficking were Nigerians, adding that 30 of 80 foreign students arrested abroad over the menace in 2015, were Nigerians.

He argued that such Nigerians apprehended, disguised as university students and connived with drug syndicates outside Nigeria to undermine the visa system and consequently gain entry into Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and other drug traffic routes.

Ashafa added that, “the incidence of lifting of the drugs from Nigeria in itself has become few and far between. Those involved have found a way of picking up the narcotic substances while in transit, considering that most flights from Nigeria to some of the countries at stake like Thailand and Indonesia are not direct flights.

“Drug trafficking is not only a challenge in the international sense of the word, but also that the usage of different harmful narcotic substances including the abuse of prescription medicines by different demographics of the society, particularly the youth, constitutes a major problem in our society.”

He however, urged the executive arm of government to restructure and re-position NDLEA with the capacity to meet the challenges of drug trafficking in the country.

Other senators who spoke on the issue lamented that the menace has brought the image of the nation into a public opprobrium among the comity of nations.

After much deliberation, the Red chamber urged, “The executive to restructure and re-position the NDLEA, to be able to meet the challenges of evasive drug traffickers using Nigerians to traffic drugs.