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Reps moves to make routine drug tests mandatory for politicians

By Msugh Ityokura, Abuja
04 November 2021   |   2:55 am
The House of Representatives is working on a bill to make routine drug tests compulsory for politicians seeking elective offices in Nigeria.

[FILES] Health test. (Photo by AHMAD AL-BASHA / AFP)

The House of Representatives is working on a bill to make routine drug tests compulsory for politicians seeking elective offices in Nigeria.

The lower chamber also opposed legalisation of cannabis in the country, arguing that the move will increase the population of insane people in the society.

Chairman, House Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Francis Agbo, who spoke during the 2022 budget defence of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday, in Abuja, assured the agency of improved working conditions.

Agbo attributed the increasing terrorism, kidnapping and other social vices in the country to the consumption of sedatives, urging collaboration against the menace.

“Once you become a candidate of a political party, you must undergo the routine drug test. This will enable us to understand better the kind of people we are dealing with,” he said.

Agbo pledged the Ninth Assembly’s support for organisation, hence the measures to curb the consumption of narcotics for a decorous society.

The panel chair said the lawmakers were seeking capital punishment for offenders, as well as forfeiture of their assets and jail terms as the case may be

Presenting an N35 billion appropriation bill for the coming fiscal year, NDLEA Chairman, Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), reflecting on the financial muscles of drug dealers, stressed the need for improved funding for the agency to effectively engage them.

According to the NDLEA boss, the agency currently has 10,000 personnel currently, but hopes to increase the tally to 15,000 by next year.

A brief highlight of the budget shows an estimated N250 million for the purchase of vehicles, just as the agency has established a marine unit to fight drug cartels that had resorted to using riversides for their nefarious activities.