Worried by the growing menace of drug abuse in Nigeria, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has indicated its willingness to establish scientific laboratories across the 36 States of the Federation.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Brig General Buba Marwa, who was represented by the Director-General of the NDLEA, raised the issue in a paper he presented to the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics on Thursday at a public hearing

the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics held a public hearing to garner views from stakeholders as it prepares to amend the National Drug Law Enforcement Act, 2004 (Amendment) Bill of 2021.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Hezekiah Ayuba Dimka promised to expeditiously deal with the outcome of the hearing, noting that drug laws need to be wholistic to deal with drug abuse.

The Chairman said section 4 of the principal act which deals with powers of the agency provide opportunities for amendment, hence, it wants amendment for the establishment of drug laboratories across 36 states of the Federation and the FederalCapitalTerritory.

“Section 4 of the Principal Act dealing with ‘Special Powers of the Agency’ is proposed to be amended by inserting a new subsection.

“It mandates the Agency to establish the scientific laboratories in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He maintained that NDLEA would have the capacity to speedily investigate and prosecute drug-related cases if there were laboratories across the nation.

He urged the National Assembly to consider a budgetary provision to enable the agency to procure equipment.

The one-day public hearing was attended by interest groups, who presented papers and submissions on the challenges faced by the agency.