Nigeria: ECOWAS ministers meet in Abuja over illicit drug trafficking

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – Commending efforts made by partner countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to address illicit drug trafficking, organised crime and drug abuse in the sub-region, Nigerian Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami on Monday reiterated his country's commitment to fight the menace.

Speaking in Abuja at a one-day ministerial conference on the regional action plan to deal with drug trafficking and abuse, Malami said “the world is currently divided in terms of drug control policies" as the crime is punishable by death in certain countries while others advocate for legalisation or decriminalisation of certain drugs.

Member states of the ECOWAS advocate for punishing traffickers and abusers besides treatment and rehabilitation of people who have drug disorders.

The regional action plan would be implemented over the period of 2016 till 2020, following expiration of the first plan which covered the 2008-2015 period.

Malami said that the action plan would provide a road-map and serve as a working document for the ECOWAS drug control team and would provide the necessary framework for member states to source for funds from development partners.

Meanwhile, the Regional Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ms Cristina Albertin described the action plan as “a key element of the global response to the challenges of drug trafficking, abuse and organised crime."

She noted that it takes into account not only the drug issue in a holistic manner, but also the links between drug trafficking and other forms of organised crime as well as the emergent  cyber-crime.
-0- PANA MON/AR 5Sept2016

05 Setembro 2016 18:57:47

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