Illegal Substances Hinder Economic Growth – NDLEA

National Drug Enforcement Agency Chairman Brig. General Buba Marwa (retired), said on Thursday that illicit substances are an obstacle to the country’s economic growth

It was then that he warned citizens against using a new psychoactive substance called Akuskura.

According to him, the trend has had a negative impact on the national development of a developing country like Nigeria.

The President who was speaking at the 40e The Olumide Memorial Conference organized by the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors titled “Dangers of Illicit Substances to National Development” decried calls by some activists and politicians that economic growth could be achieved by cashing in on the global cannabis market, which is expected to be worth $103.9 billion by 2024.

He said, “When we talk about the dangers of illicit substances to national development, we are looking at how the proliferation, through the production, trafficking, sale and abuse of illicit substances, undermines the organic development of a country.

“In other words, how drug use hampers economic growth, how it disrupts social cohesion, how it denies the maximization of citizens’ potential, and how addressing these issues consumes much-needed government revenue that could be useful to other development projects efforts.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, some analysts and politicians have been pushing for the legalization of cannabis sativa cultivation as a silver bullet for Nigeria’s economic growth. Their argument refers to some Western countries that have decriminalized the use of cannabis or cannabis derivatives and other countries that derive economic gains from the cultivation and export of cannabis. Ultimately, the crux of their argument is narco-dollar revenue for the country.

“However, they often fail to tell the truth about the drug problems these countries have on their hands as well as the human and material costs.

“The country’s drug control capacity and the stark reality of the devastation of illicit substances in societies and countries around the world are proof enough that illicit substances pose dangers to national development.

“Therefore, it is in our national interest to know this truth and to curb the proliferation, trafficking and abuse of controlled and prohibited substances.”

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