In a sponsored motion at Tuesday’s plenary by Senator Gbenga Ashafa and 21 others, the Senate has expressed deep concern over Nigerians’ involvement in illicit global and domestic drugs trade and abuse.
In his lead debate, Ashafa maintained that smuggling of hard drugs was worrisome to the extent that the Malaysian authorities have again issued a statement that 30 out of 80 foreigners arrested for drug related offences were Nigerians.
“Note that the Malaysian authorities have again issued a strong statement that 30% of the foreigners being arrested for drugs offences are from Nigeria. So far, 30 out of 80 foreign students arrested in 2015 were Nigerians in a country where drug trafficking attracts the Supreme retribution”, Ashafa said.
In his contribution, Senator Jubrin Barau noted that if the menace was not nipped in the bud, President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort at redeeming the image on the country abroad with a view to having a business relationship with other nations would be jeopardized.
“Mr Senate President, you recall that President Buhari has been touring across the world trying to boost the image of the nation, drug trafficking is capable of rubbishing his effort and I therefore want the Senate to take action immediately,” he posited.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu on her part, stated that most of Nigerian youths have been under drug influence and ready to be used by politicians during elections, while noting that it would be a dangerous trend if such was allowed to continue.
Sam Egwu added that the Senate should come up with solutions specifically on students travelling abroad for schools since they were the major chunk of culprits.
As part of the prayers, the Senate resolved that the federal government should restructure and reposition the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to be able to meet the challenges of evasive drug traffickers.
The Senate also sought for collaborative approach by anti drug agencies in Nigeria to save the nation from this embarrassment as well as amending laws governing NAFDAC to enable the agency combat drug consumption.
It also mandated the Committee on Drugs and Narcotics to consider an urgent amendment of section 23 of the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria Act, to include considering the prescription of pills over the counter as an offence punishable by the Act,” the Senate resolved.
The Senate also urged the federal government to place National Drug Law Enforcement Agency under its direct supervision for effective monitoring.