National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday, in Abuja, confirmed growing use and importation of hard substances in Nigeria.
Addressing the maiden Auto CEO Forum, sponsored by GSCL Transport Media Group, NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa, said about one ton of Colorado had been discovered in the last three years.
He said the automotive sector remains a key focus in the war against drug abuse, adding that collaboration was needed to sanitise the sector.
Represented by a controller, Samuel Bashir Gadzama, the chairman observed that most of the drugs imported come via vehicles from Canada.
Noting that the trend, discovered in 2020 during the lockdown, is worrisome, Marwa said some players in the automotive industry were using the business as a cover to achieve their nefarious objectives.
His words: “We are focusing on them. We have had cases where we closed down some automotive shops. There are cases where we have to investigate some individuals.
“We are not after duty. We have two concerns. We are either looking for the drug or proceeds.”
Marwa said the agency had no direct business with the automotive sector apart from addressing drug-related issues, adding that “there is the need for the players to support the campaign against drug and understand related laws that may affect their operations.”
Speaking at the event, the representative of the organisers, Frank Kintum, admitted that Nigeria was going through a difficult phase economically, stating that the automotive industry is one of the worst hit.
“In the last few years, many auto assembly plants registered by the Federal Government to rejuvenate the nation’s economy a few years ago have closed down, while the few still struggling have been forced to downsize workers,” he said.