Uyo – The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Dr Ahmadu Giade, said on Thursday that the agency seized drugs worth N62 billion in the last two years.
Giade announced this in a keynote address at a symposium, with the theme: “Enhancing Capacity for Substance Abuse, Research and Interventions’’, in Uyo.
Represented by Mrs Josephine Obi, the NDLEA Commander in Akwa Ibom, Giade said that 1,500 drug offenders were convicted by the agency annually.
He said that between the year 2000 and 2012, the agency intercepted 3.4 million kilogrammes of narcotics.
“This includes 2.8 million kg of cannabis, 178,120kg of cocaine, 195,283kg of heroin and 233,699kg of psychotropic substance,” he said.
The chairman suggested that the best way to prevent addiction was not to take drug at all, adding that parents should prevent their wards from drug abuse.
“Every family has a role to play because every addict belongs to a family.
“Parents must effectively communicate with their children, listen to them, strengthen the bond between them and live exemplary lifestyles for them to emulate,’’ he said.
Giade said that efforts were ongoing to address problems of inadequate funding, logistics and manpower faced by the agency to sustain their superiority over drug trafficking cartels in the country.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, the Chairman of the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse, Prof. Isidore Obot, said that substance abuse was not just a problem of individual, but a societal one.
Obot said that 70 per cent of those involved in drug abuse in the country were youth and advised them to stay off drugs.
He said that parents, guardians and employers should be involved in the issue of drug control in the country.
In her goodwill message, the state Director of National Orientation Agency, Mrs Catherine Ekpo, said that drug abuse was on the increase in the country.
Ekpo called on the participants to proffer solutions on the way of controlling drug abuse in the country.
She said the agency would continue to enlighten the public on the dangers of drug abuse to discourage the public from abusing drugs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the symposium was organised by the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse in collaboration with NDLEA and NOA. (NAN)