Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig Gen Buba Marwa Rtd, yesterday said 17,647 offenders including 10 drug barons have been arrested between January 2021 and May 2022.

He said more than 2,369 of them including one baron have been convicted and jailed.

He added that 154,667.339kg drugs have been seized in the first five months of this year.

Speaking at a press conference to mark the unveiling of the 2022 United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, he said 8,000 drug users were counselled and rehabilitated, in most cases through brief interventions in 2021.

He said that in the first five months of 2022 an additional 3,523 were also counselled and treated in NDLEA facilities.

Marwa also said the Agency would soon unveil a Call Centre to be manned by professionals and experts in counselling, psychotherapy, psychology, psychiatry and more to offer help to drug users who will make use of the tollfree lines to seek counselling 24/7.

This he said will also enable those afraid of stigmitisation to seek help without being seen or identified by anyone.

He said the forthcoming sensitisation training on Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care (DPTC) for Governors’ Wives will bolster the effort to ensure that the consequences of drug abuse are nipped in the bud.

Marwa said, “As an anti-narcotic agency, our capacities are being daily optimised to face the continuously changing threats of illicit drugs. In the last 16 months, officers and men of NDLEA have been through a series of training facilitated by UNODC and allied partners.

“Still, the best solution to the drug problem remains a preventive approach, which is one of the big goals of our War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign presently being rolled out across the states of the federation.”

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