The Lagos State Government has urged the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to address the root cause of drug abuse in the country by researching into why people take hard drugs.
The Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folasade Jaji gave the advice when the new NDLEA Lagos Commander, Barrister Ralph Igwenagu and his team paid her a courtesy visit. She said without ascertaining the root cause, the Agency would only be scratching the surface of the problem.
Mrs. Jaji expressed government’s concern and her personal worries over the increase of hard drugs consumption by the youths.
She said: “Despite the level of seizure of illicit drugs by the Agency and destruction of the drugs every time, the consumption keeps increasing such that young adults are seen taking hard drugs publicly”
While challenging the Agency to go after drug barons and retailers across the country, she said the borders must be properly manned using modern technology to checkmate the influx of such drugs into the country.
She assured that the state government will continue to give necessary support to stop the consumption of hard drugs in the state and also promised to table the Agency’s request to the relevant ministries for action.
Earlier, the NDLEA Commander had noted that Lagos State occupies a strategic position, being the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria and this makes the state a destination point and transit route for all types of drugs.
He disclosed that Lagos State has overtaken Kano as the state with the highest rate of drug consumption since 2018 and there is an urgent need for the state government to partner and support the NDLEA to urgently address the issue.
He requested for the establishment of treatment and rehabilitation centre for the drug addicts, sensitization and inclusion of the Agency as member of the state security committee among others.
The Commander also said that the agency just destroyed six factories where methamphetamine was produced in collaboration with Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies.