The chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa, says most of the cells involved in the sale of drug cookies online have been dismantled.
Drug cookies are illicit substances such as marijuana or cocaine shaped into cookie form.
Speaking on Tuesday at the third committee session of the 76th United Nations general assembly (UNGA) in New York, US, Marwa highlighted efforts of the agency, adding that the NDLEA remains committed in its determination to go after illicit drug distributors in the country.
According to a statement by Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, Marwa also said Nigeria is working on more innovative methods to address the menace of drug trafficking.
“Nigeria will remain undaunted in adopting dynamic strategies to counter new approaches adopted by organised criminals, in order to make drug trafficking unattractive, while ensuring forfeiture of the criminally derived assets, a tested and powerful deterrent to the proliferation of drug crimes and criminalities,” he said.
“The Nigerian government has exhibited political will by demonstrating high commitment to the protection of public health and safety with the launch of the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign, a call for civil action for all Nigerians to buy in and take full ownership of the fight against the menace of illicit drugs.
“More so, Nigeria’s drug control efforts have received a tremendous thrust with unprecedented stakeholders involvement. We have engaged civil society groups, non-governmental organisations, academia and governments at all levels. Public enlightenment is also being strengthened with remarkable media visibility, even as the youths are regularly sensitised on social media platforms on the ugly consequences of illicit drugs and related criminalities.
“Our consistent targeting of drug trafficking organisations has resulted in the arrest of 8,634 suspected drug traffickers and the seizure of over N100 billion in cash and drugs within the first eight months of this year. Perpetrators will go through the criminal justice system, with their fundamental human rights being strictly upheld.
“Appropriate strategies have also been adopted to address the issue of stigmatisation of people who use drugs, including meeting the needs of vulnerable communities and groups such as women, girls, children (out of school and homeless), internally displaced persons and so on.
“It is worthy of mention here, that one of the challenges of the pandemic is the proliferation of online sale of drug cookies and use of courier services to move illicit drugs. However, we were able to intercept, trace and dismantle most of the drug cells involved.”
The NDLEA Chairman also expressed appreciation to the international community for its support including “technical assistance, information and intelligence sharing, capacity building and training specifically in the area of countering the use of information and communication technology for criminal purposes, which has given a great boost to our counter-narcotic strategies”.