According to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the agency confiscated nearly 3.5 million kg of hard narcotics between January 2021 and May 2022.
Femi Babafemi, NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, stated that the agency detained nearly 17,600 individuals during the time under consideration. In one year, the agency stated it impounded medicines worth over N130 billion. He claimed that the CIA had achieved 80% success in combating the introduction of heavy narcotics.
“I believe at the moment we have achieved over 80 per cent success because of the seizure of over 3.5m kilograms in just one and half years between January to May 2022 with over 17,600 arrests. So, we have made some decisive moves and we are not resting; we will make sure we cripple their activities.”
Babafemi said that NDLEA had partnered with the Nigerian Navy for easy patrol on the waterways.
“And that is why recently, you see our partnership with the Nigerian Navy who also helped us with some boats and other equipment to intensify our patrol on the water channels.”
Explaining why there were massive seizures of some of these consignments around Eko Atlantic, he said, “But because they find it difficult to come through the seaports, airports, and land orders without being frustrated, they have now decided to go through the lagoon channels. That was the reason for the massive seizures in the Eko Atlantic City area.
“So instead of them bringing these things directly, they go through the neighbouring countries so that they will be able to come in through the back door into our territory. So, that is why you see some of those things coming in through either Niger, Ghana or the Benin Republic.”
He said, “The global scourge where cartels make a lot of money, the greed and desperation to make money at all costs have overwhelmed their sense of logical reasoning. And, so, they defy the deterrents put in place by security agencies. And because of the desperation, they take all the risks but, unfortunately for them, they are losing it all. They are losing the money they invested in bringing these drugs and also losing their freedom. At the same time, they are losing all the assets they have acquired through this illegal trade.”
He said that the agency was engaging the governments of the neighbouring countries on the best ways to fight the menace.