The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) seized more than N450 billion worth of drugs and cash between January 2021 and October 2022.
Its chairman, Buba Marwa made the declaration on Tuesday in Abuja at the NDLEA’s end-of-year awards, commendation and decorations of promoted officers.
He said the agency also arrested 23,907 drug traffickers including 29 barons within the period under review.
“Our seizure was more than 5,500 tons or 5.5 million kilograms of assorted illicit drugs, which together with cash seized are worth over N450 billion.
“In the same period, we have taken the fight to the doorsteps of Indian hemp growers by destroying 772.5 hectares of Indian hemp farms.
“In these 22 months, we have recorded convictions of 3,434 offenders.
“We have equally made good strides in our drug demand reduction efforts where the number of those counseled and rehabilitated is 16, 114,’’ he said.
He said the agency had been on an upward trajectory saying that what the agency had done in the last 22 months based on available statistics was cause for celebration.
Marwa said the figures released were mere statistics until one viewed them through the lens of human impact and the good or harm that could have come to society.
He noted that there would have been devastating impact on public health, security and law enforcement if the dangerous drugs seized had gone to the streets.
He cited the 100 million tramadol pills seized by the NDLEA and stressed that if they had gone into the streets, and gotten into the hands of consumers the toll would have been disastrous.
“This would have been heavy on lives, families, productivity and, ultimately, the GDP of the country because it will affect these young people who are the engine room of productivity.
“This is the overview of what we have done so far, to justify the awards and commendations that will be accorded some individual officers and commands,’’ he said.
While presenting awards and commendation letters to recipients, Marwa charged them to take the award as a testament of their professional progress.
He said: “beyond that, that you are here today should also be taken as a challenge to surpass your record every quarter and to be resolute to always be part of this quarterly ceremony.
“NDLEA will continue to recognise those who play pivotal roles in the agency’s giant strides. Recall that 3,506 officers were promoted last year and we didn’t stop there,’’ he said.
Marwa said that promotion was a reward for industry, diligence and dedication, adding that it was earned on merit, not given as gratis, and at times, it was subject to vacancy.
He explained that it was not everybody that deserved promotion that got it saying that from certain ranks, there was limited vacancy in upward mobility.
“That brings me to this important point: to those whose expectations were not met in the just-concluded promotion and harmonisation exercise, I am saying that the process is still on-going as management is working to address some complaints.
“We will continue to put everyone concerned into consideration as soon as there are openings at the higher level,’’ he stressed.
A total of 1,018 officers were promoted to new ranks, including two Deputy Commandant-Generals of Narcotics.
Also promoted to new ranks were 17 Assistant Commandant-Generals of Narcotics, 29 Commander of Narcotics, 78 Deputy Commanders of Narcotics and 111 Assistant Commanders of Narcotics.
Others were 63 Chief Superintendents of Narcotics, 106 Superintendents of Narcotics and 129 Deputy Superintendents of Narcotics,
Among those promoted also were 25 Assistant Superintendents of Narcotics I and 400 Assistant Superintendents of Narcotics II.