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From the Executive Desk
Drug Control is not aeronautics, but the Agency's operational experience in the year
2011 is what, in aviation parlance, can be referred to as attaining the “cruising level”. The
Agency operated at a sustainably high frequency on a straight line operational course throughout the year. For the first time in a decade, the Agency's operational paradigm
had to shift from working to earn the United States Government (USG) Narcotic Drug Certification, to now keeping Nigeria's name permanently out of the USG's Drug
Majors' List, being the label given to countries regarded as “drug production and trafficking hubs.”
The preceding assessment year, 2010, was when Nigeria was delisted from the Drug Majors List of the USG on account of NDLEA's demonstrable and commendable performance, having earned Drug Certification for ten consecutive years since 2001. The Agency then cruised into the year 2011 on a clean slate, with a firm operational promise of not only sustaining the momentum but surpassing it.
Drug Control is equally not rocket science where answers to problems are oftentimes predictable. Over the years, the Agency had been intrigued by the phenomenal rise in the seizure of Methamphetamine and Ephedrine types of drugs within the country and at the outward clearance points of the MMIA, without a corresponding influx of this category of drugs, which are also not produced locally. This observation gave rise to the sneaky feeling that there may exist clandestine laboratories in some parts of the country where precursor chemicals for the drugs are processed. The Agency intensified efforts at uncovering these clandestine laboratories, and these efforts paid off, handsomely, leading to a major breakthrough during the year under review. The first clandestine laboratory was discovered and destroyed by the Agency in collaboration with the USDEA at the Monkey Village in Iba area of Lagos State. The crackdown on clandestine laboratories shall continue.
What seemingly defied normal operational explanation was the fact that, everything appeared right in the area of effective drug control, yet there were growing manifestations of certain conditions that more or less prevailed in countries under the grip of drug consequences. An example of this symptom was the gale of social upheavals that greeted the April 2011 General Elections in some parts of the country and the ominous threat to national security as was experienced in the recent incessant bombings in Northern Nigeria. The youths who are in the vanguard of these social and security conflicts, are also the most vulnerable to drug abuse and trafficking.