Development of the National Drug Control Master Plan 2021 to 2025: A sustainable policy that responds to drug use and illicit trafficking and related organized crime in Nigeria

Abuja, 10 November 2020 - Nigeria has promoted continuity in strategic and policy instruments to respond to the evolving drug situation in the country by developing and implementing National Drug Control Master Plans (NDCMPs) since 1999. NDCMP is a policy-driven results-based planning tool for coordinating interventions against illicit drug use and trafficking and related organized crime in Nigeria. The third NDCMP (2015-2019), later extended to 2020, is at the final stages of implementation.

The fourth NDCMP 2021- 2025 is currently under development. The EU-funded and UNODC implemented project, "Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria", is supporting its preparation by closely working with all the major stakeholder agencies including National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Federal Ministry of Health, National Agency for Food & Drug Administration & Control, and National Agency for the Control of AIDS. A core writing team (CWT) comprising of eighteen (18) members from all the major stakeholders was established to complete this task. Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the team, has been able to develop a draft document for further review by the senior management.

NDCMP 2021-25 aims to contribute to improved health and security of all Nigerians. It acknowledged that the problems arising with drug supply and consumption are not restricted only to people who use drugs but have wider health, social and economic consequences on the family, community, and nation. Based on this, NDCMP, adopts a broad-based, comprehensive and inclusive approach for addressing drug related issues. It contains four thematic pillars, namely supply reduction, drug demand reduction, access to drugs for medical purposes, and the governance and coordination. The document is also aligned and harmonized with the existing international and regional conventions including of the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Further, it will also contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” and target 3.5 to “strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol”.

On 09/11/20 and 10/11/20, all CWT members gathered together and thoroughly reviewed the document. The draft NDCMP will now be placed before the directors from all the major agencies for further review and endorsement in a workshop which has been planned for 17/11/20 and 18/11/20. Once the draft NDCMP 202125 is validated, it will be sent to the presidential office for final approval. The NDCMP 2021-2025 is expected to be officially launched in 2021. Once launched, the document will provide a strategic direction for implementation of drug related interventions in the country and contribute to improved health and security of the country.