Abuja - Sen. Philip Gyunka (PDP-Nasarawa North) has called for a more stringent financial restriction of money acquired through sale of drugs as the only way to check drug abuse in Nigeria.
Gyunka made the call shortly after the inauguration of the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics of which he is the Vice Chairman.
He said the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) must collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and financial institutions to ensure that drug money was tracked, confiscated and dealers prosecuted.
He expressed displeasure at the illicit abuse of drugs by Nigerian youths.
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He said research indicated that 65 per cent of Nigerian youth were abusing one drug or the other while a reasonable percentage of those not abusing were interested in trying it out.
He advocated capable and accountable regulatory policies that are responsive to the needs of communities and evolving methods of drug traffickers.
"NDLEA needs to develop stronger working relationship with agencies of the Federal Government like the EFCC to stay on the trail of drug money.
"You simply cannot thwart the drug trade without frustrating the dissemination and concealment of the drug money”, Gyunka said.
While quoting a UN report, he said that about 40 per cent of cocaine is seized while only about 0.5 per cent of drug money was seized all over the World.
"What we need to do as the 8th Senate is to look at how we can establish laws to make it difficult for drug traffickers to launder their money.
"I believe that the new CBN restrictions on withdrawals and deposits will also go a long way towards ensuring that the dirty money from the drug trade is not washed clean in our banking system”, he said.
He stressed that Nigeria must combat the prevalence of drugs to ensure that the nation did not breed a generation that is addicted to drugs.