The National Assembly has said it is now ready to support the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), in order to help it stem the increasing tide of trafficking, production, and rehabilitation of drug addicts in Nigeria.
While making the promise today, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Sen. Joshua Lidani, at the end of a three-day workshop on drug control in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, said, “We have a lot that we are taking back home and this will definitely enhance our work in the Senate.”
“This is in terms of making of laws, oversight functions, budgetary exercises and other things that we, as committees in the senate, are expected to do.”
“We are going home more knowledgeable and more aware of a lot of issues that we will be eager to take on in the committees of the Senate and House of Representatives.”
“We discussed extensively on balanced, evidence-based and human rights-based drug control in line with the three UN drug control conventions.”
“There is a need to ensure drug demand reduction through sensitisation, awareness, education on drug issues to communities, professionals, families, religious leaders, traditional rulers among others.”
“There is equally a need for professional training that is continuous for drug counsellors, social workers, doctors, nurses and other professionals.”
“Also, there is an urgent need to expand treatment through establishment and maintenance of treatment centres with focus on community-based treatment, detoxification, counselling and rehabilitation.”
“We intend to pursue these key areas the moment we get back to the National Assembly. We will also continue to engage ministries and technical agencies, UNODC, EU and other key stakeholders.”
“We intend to pay advocacy visit to the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Presidency.’’
The workshop was organised for members of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Narcotics and Drugs by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) with support from the European Union.