NDLEA seizes 6.2 million kilogrammes of drugs in eight years

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DATA exclusively obtained by The ICIR has revealed that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) seized a total of 6.213 million kilogrammes of drugs between 2015 and the second quarter of 2022.

The figures encompass the weight of five different drugs, which are cocaine, heroin, cannabis, meth and some other psychotropic substances.

The data also showed that the NDLEA counselled 27,541 clients against the use of drugs within that period.

Of the total 6.2 million kg of drug seized, 2021 had the highest volume, with 3.4 million (3,480,368.80) of drugs seized. That was 56 per cent of the total number, while 2020 was the year with the lowest drug seizures, with an estimated figure of 144,795.66 (2.3 per cent).

The agency noted that the 2021 figure included 2.9 million kilogrammes of cannabis destroyed on farms across the country.

Cannabis topped the most drug seizure in the last eight years

Cannabis, followed by psychotropic/others and meth were the most seized drugs by the agency in eight years.

A further breakdown of the figures showed that in 2015, the drug enforcement agency seized an estimated 903,624.56 kilogramme of drugs, representing 14.5 per cent of the drug seizures. Likewise in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, a total of 267,591.48, 309,356.31, 317,764.85, and 612,903.48 kilogrammes of drugs were seized, respectively.

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The NDLEA disclosed that in the first and second quarters of 2022, it seized 176,818.08kg of drugs.

An infographic showing the kilogrammes of drug seized by NDLEA in the last eight years

Comparing the 2020 and 2021 figures, The ICIR discovered that there was a 2,303 per cent increase in seized drugs. This shows that there was a drastic seizure increase in 2021.

However, the cases of drug seizure dropped drastically in 2020 (144,795.66), compared to the figures in 2019 (612,903.48 kilogrammes), as there was a 76.4 per cent decrease.

This may not be disconnected from the Covid-19 pandemic, which made its way to Nigeria in February 2020.

During the earlier stage of the pandemic, the Federal government declared a total lockdown across the country, leading to less human and public office activities.

Similarly, comparing the data of 2019 to 2021, the percentage of cocaine, heroine, cannabis, meth, psychotropic and others altogether increased by 20 per cent in 2021.

The drastic increase in the percentage of drug seizure in the year where over 465 million was spent on advocacy implies that there was no value for the amount spent on the sensitization project as cases of drug use was high.

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An infographic showing the number of clients NDLEA counselled between 2015 and June 2022

The data revealed that out of the 27,541 persons counselled between 2015 and June 2022, 7,096 (26 per cent) were recorded in 2021, while in 2020 and 2019, 3,751 (14 per cent) and 1,202 (4 per cent) persons respectively were counselled against the use of drug abuse.

The ICIR had gathered, through a document exclusively obtained on May 26, 2022, that the NDLEA spent N467.66 million in 2021 on advocacy sensitization programmes across the country.

The ICIR also discovered some discrepancies in the 2021 Constituency and Capital projects as five out of the 10 projects sponsored by the Federal lawmakers were awarded to contractors who were not specialized in training and advocacy.

There is no record that these companies had executed such kinds of projects before. The only credible information is that they were awarded projects for which they lacked competence.

This is in disagreement with the Bureau Public Procurement guidelines, which state that contracts should be awarded to firms based on their core areas of competence and business focus as submitted at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Section 23 (c) of the procurement act (Pre-qualification of Bidders) requires the contractor to have demonstrated capacity before being awarded contracts.

The contractors are Autonorths Limited, Ejadams Essence Limited, Seapoch Associates Resources Limited, Issachar & Juvi, and Baysline Nigeria LTD.

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In the case of Autonorths Limited, the company specialized in construction activities but was assigned “through selective tendering” to carry on with an advocacy/sensitization programme on narcotics/psychotropic drugs addiction for secondary school youth in Bokkos LGA, Plateau State.

The breakdown also showed that 10 of these projects were sponsored by lawmakers (constituency projects), while the remaining 10 were funded by Capital releases.

The 10 constituency projects as sponsored by the lawmakers cost N232,953,449.7, and had 10 different contractors for the projects.

Further investigations also showed that four out of the 10 constituency projects, which were meant to benefit the entire country, were taken to Plateau State. Benue State had three advocacy projects executed in their state, while Ebonyi, Imo and Sokoto states had one advocacy project each.

According to the data, the advocacy and sensitization programme against the use of narcotics in Izzi/Abakaliki Federal constituency of Ebonyi State was contracted to Randburg Nig. Ltd at an amount of N49.5 million, making it the state with the highest amount spent on a single constituency advocacy project.

    The advocacy projects on psychotropic drugs addiction for secondary school youths in Kanke LGA, Plateau Central senatorial district of Plateau State, which was awarded to Endez Farms Limited at a total cost of N11.7 million, was the least on the list.

    Further breakdown of the document revealed that three out of the other 10 projects from Capital releases were again executed in Plateau State, making it seven. Imo and Ebonyi states had one project on advocacy programmes each, while the remaining five remained vague.

    The NDLEA could not provide the states or locations where the five projects were executed.

    Details of the capital projects, contractors and the procurement methods were not revealed in the document received by The ICIR for the 10 projects.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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