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Nigeria launches National Drug Control Master Plan 2021-2025

May, 2021 | By Darlington Omotoso| ||

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the development of the National Drug Control Master Plan, NDCMP, 2021–2025 is no doubt, a significant accomplishment. However, to achieve its intended objectives, "We have to work together and accelerate our efforts on multiple fronts." President Muhammadu Buhari stated this in a keynote message, during the launch of the NDCMP, which was done as a side event, during the 64th session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

"Nigeria is facing complex and multifaceted challenges related to cultivation, manufacturing, trafficking and use of various types of illicit drugs. The findings of the National Drug Use Survey and related studies provide ample proof of the severity and high prevalence of drug use in the country. The trafficking of illicit drugs and significant involvement of transnational criminal networks in the drug trade adds to the enormity of challenges. If not reversed, this trend will significantly impact public health, education, livelihood of citizens, security, the rule of law, development and good governance." he said.

He further said that: "Realizing the magnitude and gravity of the problem, in December 2018, I established the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA), with the purpose of identifying operational gaps and developing effective frameworks to address drug control issues in the country. The Committee, which was chaired by Brig. General,Rtd, Buba Marwa, who, incidentally, is the current chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency,NDLEA, conducted extensive consultations with key partners and stakeholders across the country and submitted a comprehensive report to my office.

I am happy to note that many of the individuals and entities who assisted in the formulation of PACEDA report have also contributed to the development of this new National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) 2021–2025." The NDCMP 2021–2025 is the outcome of a coordinated, collaborative and multi-agency effort comprising experts from all the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as civil society organizations (CSOs). The Plan employs a balanced and multidimensional approach to drug control issues; it proposes critical interventions to regulate controlled medicines, strengthens mechanisms for increased inter-agency coordination, and for improving the efficiency and delivery of governance institutions.

Speaking during the launch, the Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd), said: "The NDCMP 2021–2025 is the 4th edition of our National Action Plan on drug control. The document was developed by the Inter-ministerial Drug Control Committee (IMC) and other relevant stakeholders with the active support of our international partners. As the Chair of the IMC therefore, NDLEA wishes to note with profound satisfaction and appreciation, effort of all parties involved and in particular, the Federal Government of Nigeria for ensuring institutionalised mechanisms for drug control. I would also like to appreciate the unwavering commitment and support of President Muhammadu Buhari to the drug control mechanism of the country.

In his remarks, Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, reiterated the EU's long-standing commitment to tackling drug control as evidenced by its support to Nigeria through its significant 34 million Euro contribution towards a project focused on responding to drug control issues in a balanced, and evidenced-based manner. He further highlighted the importance of data collection and increased engagement with national partners for developing effective, transformative and broad-based drug control policies and strategies.

The Ambassador also referred to the role that NDLEA had played in the drafting of the NDCMP and stressed the need for proper implementation in future. The UNODC Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, in his message at the launch said, "the NDCMP 2021-2025 is the outcome of two years of coordinated, collaborative and multi-agency effort comprising experts from all the relevant Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Civil Society Organizations.

Developed with the technical support from UNODC, the NDCMP is a results-based strategic planning tool for coordinating interventions against illicit drug use and trafficking and related organized crime in Nigeria. The Plan contains four strategic pillars: Supply Reduction; Drug Demand Reduction; Access to Controlled Medicines for Medical and Scientific Purposes; and Governance and Coordination. Each of the strategic pillars is anchored in one or two MDAs of the Government that will be responsible for achieving desired outcomes.

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