NDLEA Seizes 3mkg Of Illicit Drugs, Substances
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) has said that following the change of strategy, the agency mopped up over three million kilogrammes of illicit drugs and psychoactive substances in the country between January and November this year.
Added to this feat, the agency arrested 10, 355 drugs traffickers, over 5,579 drug users have been counselled and rehabilitated while, at least, 1, 000 have been convicted and are in jail.
This is as Marwa said that the agency has destroyed illegal drugs weighing 20,000kilogrammes and worth over N50billion in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Making this known in Abuja, yesterday, during the public destruction of 20,000kilogrammes of assorted illicit drugs seized by the FCT and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command of the NDLEA, Marwa said, “This is yet evidence that NDLEA is relentless in its effort to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Nigerians.
“This exercise is taking place in accordance with the prescription of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) concerning the best method of disposing seized drugs without polluting our environmental ecosystem or endangering public health”.
Represented by the Secretary of the agency, Barrister Shedrack Haruna, Marwa said, “To be destroyed here today is approximately 20, 000kilogrammes of illicit drugs valued at over N50billion. Approximately, 19, 598kilogrammes of these assorted illicit drugs were seized by the FCT Command, comprising 19, 178kilogrammes of cannabis, 0.1kilogrammes of cocaine, and 0.009kilogrammes of heroin and 420kilogrammes of other psychotropic substances.
“The remaining 362kilogrammes, seized at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, comprised 173kilogrammes of cocaine, 36kilogrammes of heroin, 93kilogrammes of ephedrine, 60kilogrammes of methamphetamine, 58grammes of cannabis, 219grammes of Rohypnol and 150grammes of Tramadol.
“Just as we witness the public destruction of these 20, 000kilogrammes of assorted illicit drugs and substances today, let me bring to your notice that similar exercises have taken place in many states across Nigeria this year. Imagine the potential dangerous situations that could result if a quantum of these drugs found their way into society”.
He said, “The sheer bulk of the drugs that will be destroyed is a reminder to us about the magnitude of the drug problem in this country. The statistics from the National Drug Use Survey (2018) is cause for concern. Just two of the facts are enough to cause a sober reflection. One: 14.3million Nigeria, aged 15-64 years, are abusing drugs. That is the size of the population of some countries; and two, 10.6million of our compatriots abuse cannabis, which makes Nigeria the country with the highest number of people addicted to the psychotropic plant”.
“The statistics are frightening when you look beyond the figures to their health and security implications. While the larger society may not have an immediate grasp of the import of the drug facts and figures of Nigeria, those of us at NDLEA can read the handwriting on the wall as per the dire implications of the findings from the survey.
“That is why since the coming on board of this administration in January, 2021, we have doubled down on our efforts and now aggressively pursue our mandate. To this end, NDLEA has been effectively re-positioned more than ever before to curtail the production, cultivation, processing, importation, exportation, sales, trafficking and abuse of controlled drugs and illicit substances.
“We have had to transform into an intelligence-driven anti-narcotic organisation. We have reinforced our resolution to mitigate the country’s drug prevalence by non-stop, result-oriented drug supply reduction operations, leveraging an Offensive Action philosophy to carry the fight to those who trade and traffic in banned and controlled substances.
“We are not resting on our oars. This time around, we are going to clean the Augean Stable. We are getting more sophisticated equipment that will enable us to achieve our operational mandates. Our workforce has been motivated to perform with promotions and performance reward schemes, while we have also bolstered our strength with the employment of 5,000 officers and men this year.
“The agency is experiencing resurgence and is being retrofitted to operate at full capacity. I can declare to you that the drug-fighting machine that is NDLEA is fully oiled and in optimum condition. You can rest assured that the Agency will not fail in its mandate to keep society safe.
“We may recall that when President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign of the NDLEA on June 26, 2021, he declared that, ‘WADA should not just be a slogan, but a call to civil action by all Nigerians’. Today’s public destruction of 20tons of illicit drugs and substances, further buttresses that call to action.
“Drug abuse and trafficking is a hydra-headed problem that requires a multi-sector approach. We shall continue to engage all the critical stakeholders¯including the traditional and religious institutions, community-based groups, civil society, youth groups, gender-based organisations, law enforcement agencies, governmental organisations, the criminal justice system, and our international collaborators, among others in this collective responsibility.”
We’ll Expand Socio-Economic Opportunities For All Rivers People -Fubara ……As Wike Bows Out
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has declared his administration’s resolve to expand the existing socio-economic opportunities in order to engender prosperity for all Rivers people.
Fubara made this declaration on Monday at the General Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia, venue of his swearing-in as the sixth democratically elected governor of Rivers State.
Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi, administered the oath of office on the new governor and his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu.
Thereafter, the former governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, handed over the flag of Rivers State and handover notes to his successor.
Fubara, in his inaugural address titled “Together, Let’s Consolidate the New Rivers State”, noted the poor state of the national economy, but promised that his administration would take measures to diversify Rivers economy and insulate it so that it can grow.
He also assured of promoting the climate of ease of doing business in the State to attract direct foreign investment capable of empowering Rivers people.
“The primary responsibility of a new government is to do its best to advance the security and well-being of the State and its citizens.
“Therefore, as we undertake our responsibilities, we promise to stay the course, commit to cooperative governance and expand opportunities for everyone. The wishes of our people for a happy life are our mission in politics.
“We will prioritise the well-being of the State and citizens with a renewed focus on economic growth, people-centred projects and social services”, he said.
He said further that, “We will improve the ease of doing business and sustain a congenial fiscal regime to attract local and foreign direct investments to stimulate greater economic activities, create wealth and improve citizens’ livelihoods.
“We will adopt a re-industrialization policy master plan and partner with the private sector to revive or establish viable industries to create jobs and empower our people.
“We will also support the growth of small businesses and encourage commercial agriculture to achieve food security, industrialization and improved living standards for citizens.”
Fubara added that his administration is already building on the successes of his predecessor and will construct more projects including the Port Harcourt ring road.
According to him, there shall be healthy partnership with private investors to provide integrated inter-modular public transportation system in the State.
“We witnessed unprecedented growth in infrastructure in the last eight years, but there’s still more to do.
“We will follow our leader’s footsteps to invest in capital projects, including roads, bridges, electricity supply to our rural areas, and social housing.
“We will, therefore, partner with the private sector to develop an integrated multimodal public transportation system to advance mass mobility and access to socio-economic opportunities across the state.
“We will also construct the Port Harcourt Ring Road to enhance the mobility of goods and services across the State”.
Fubara said the challenges in the health sector like inadequate manpower and corruption would be addressed to achieve optimal performance.
In the education sector, he promised to provide smart classrooms for students to prepare for global competition, empower the youths with skills to become economically active while being connected to small and medium scale business opportunities.
He said, “We care about our youth. We know they need jobs, opportunities, empowerment and the freedom to build sound, promising futures. We will not abandon our youth to their fate. We will continue prioritizing education at all levels and empower our youth with the relevant skills and opportunities to become economically active, productive and prosperous.
“We believe in the job creation capacity of small and medium enterprises. And so, we shall facilitate targeted access to low-interest funds for youth entrepreneurs to start or improve their businesses, earn decent incomes and generate employment for themselves and others.”
The governor particularly acknowledged the achievements of his predecessor in the health sector saying, “We are also proud of the state’s achievements in the healthcare sector, particularly the construction of new primary healthcare centres, the Mother and Child Hospital, the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostic and Treatment Centre and the contributory Healthcare Insurance Law.
“With what is on the ground, it is evident that the primary challenges with our healthcare system are more with inadequate manpower, corruption, indiscipline and ineffective management”.
Fubara gave a firm assurance by saying: “I assure you that apart from completing all ongoing healthcare infrastructure projects, we will deal with all identified challenges and ensure that the healthcare system functions optimally to deliver affordable and efficient healthcare to citizens.
“We are equally proud of the State’s unprecedented educational advancement, especially in the last four years. Our public schools at all levels, irrespective of location, are some of the lovely and best-resourced in the country.”
According to him, his administration will consolidate on the progress made so far by “introducing smart schools and classrooms across the State to empower our children with world-class learning experiences and make Rivers State a knowledge hub.”
Fubara vowed to be hard on crime and criminality in the State saying, “We will be hard on crime and criminality. We will swiftly and firmly deal with anyone, regardless of status or position, rich or poor, who breaks our laws or dares to violate our environment, peace and security”.
The governor thanked civil servants for their support and promised regular payment of salary, gratuity, more training, promotion for them and housing for low income earners.
Describing the civil servants as members of his constituency, he said, “To our civil servants, I thank all of you for your invaluable contributions to the state’s progress over the years.
“We appreciate your indispensability and promise to meet all our obligations to you, including regular payment of wages, pensions, gratuity, training and promotions. All we ask is your continued patriotism, dedication, and enthusiasm in the execution of your official duties”.
He further promised to govern Rivers people with the fear of God, cognizance of the fact that Rivers is a Christian state.
He also assured the church and spiritual leaders of his administration robust partnership to enhance the moral and spiritual wellbeing of Rivers people.
“Rivers State is a Christian State, and God is our foundation. We shall govern with the fear of God and stay strong to our Christian values of trust, faith, love, care and sacrifice.”
“We shall deepen the inseparable ties between the Church and the State government for the benefit of our people. We assure the Christian Association of Nigeria and other spiritual leaders of our sincere friendship, support and solidarity.
“We will continue to support and work with the Church to defend our faith, advance our values and enhance our people’s moral and spiritual well-being”, he assured.
At the Government House, Port Harcourt, the governor hung the official portraits of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his own and that of his predecessor, Wike.
… Appoints Nwaeke HoS, Ideozu Acountant General
The Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has approved two new strategic appointments in the state Civil Service.
In the latest development, the governor has approved the appointment of the most senior civil servant and permanent secretary, Dr. George Nwaeke as Head of Service, Rivers State.
He also approved the appointment of Dr Uche Ideozu as the new Accountant General of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications in Rivers State, Ibiwari Clapton-Ogolo, Esq, said that the appointments take immediate effect.
The two fresh appointments bring to six the number of appointments already made by the governor since assuming duties on Monday, May 29.
The first set of appointments was the nomination of four former commissioners under Governor Nyesom Wike as commissioner-designates.
The names are Prof Zaccheaus Adangor, Dr Dakorima George-Kelly, Isaac Kamalu, and Prof Prince Chinedu Mmom.
While Adangor was attorney general and commissioner for justice, George-Kelly was works commissioner, Kamalu was finance commissioner, and Mmom was education commissioner.
Fuel Scarcity: Tinubu Resumes Work, Meet With Emefiele, Kyari
President Bola Tinubu yesterday officially resumed work at the Presidential Villa, Abuja where he met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele and the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kyari.
This was the first official assignment by the President after his inauguration as the 16th President of the country at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Monday.
The President arrived at the forecourt of the State House at about 2:30 pm through the quarter guard gate, which is his official entrance gate and was received by the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the outgoing Director of Protocol, DOP.
Others who received him were Emefiele, Kyari and a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. James Faleke, among others.
The President went straight to his office with Emefiele, Kyari, Gbajabiamila, Faleke and others.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public, it may not be unconnected with the removal of fuel subsidy and the attendant fuel scarcity.
It is expected that the issue of unification of foreign exchange, recent Naira redesign, among others will also be discussed.
Recall that President Tinubu had during his inaugural speech announced that the subsidy has been removed and this immediately made filling stations to shut down operations across the country.
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