www:ndlea:gov:ng - National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

www.ndlea.gov.ng - National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) - This article will show you everything About NDLEA, Agency's Directorates, National Drug Control Master Plan, News and Publications, Drug Demand Reduction, Drug Laws, Drug Supply Reduction, NDLEA Wanted Persons, Agency Commands, NGO Activities, Online counselling, NDLEA Recruitment Jobs, Drug Free Club and Feedback.


The drug problem is as old as man. No society is insulated from the negative consequences of illicit drugs. Many analysts are of the opinion that apart from the genocide of Second World War, no other phenomenon has had more debilitating consequences on mankind like the pandemic drug scourge. This view is anchored on the fact that even the much dreaded HIV/AIDS which has yet defied any known cure has narcotic drugs as one of its principal causes. Besides, drugs are known to induce social vices, civil upheavals and other forms of criminalities.

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In Nigeria however, the problem of drugs began to assume very worrisome dimensions at the end of the second world war following the return of some Nigerian soldiers from mainly, Burma, India, where they had fought. One of the negative consequences of the war was the return of the soldiers with some seeds of cannabis sativa, also known as Indian Hemp, which they in turn experimented and discovered that the illicit plant could do well in some parts of the country. With time, the cultivation of cannabis sativa began to grow and so was the trafficking and abuse of the cannabis plant.

Drug barons soon discovered that the geographical location of Nigeria, its thick population, bustling commerce, and vibrant air transportation hold so much attraction for a thriving drug business. This led to the experimentation with category ‘A’ drugs such as cocaine, heroin and other psychotropic substances; a situation that has made the country a drug trafficking/transit point. In order to address this growing problem of illicit drugs, Nigeria has remained proactive in its counter-narcotic initiatives.

It is on record that Nigeria flagged off its narcotic control efforts in 1935 when the Dangerous drugs Ordinance was enacted to control drug trafficking and abuse. Subsequent governments made concerted efforts to stay on top of the drug problem. In 1984, Nigeria recorded another landmark effort when the Federal Military Government promulgated the Special Tribunal (Miscellaneous Offences) Decree No. 20 of 1984 to frontally confront drug trafficking within the Nigerian shores. Section 3 (2) (K) of this Decree provided that “any person who, without lawful authority deals in, sell, smoke or inhale the drug known as cocaine or other similar drugs shall be guilty under section 6 (3) (K) of an offence and liable on conviction to suffer death sentence by firing squad. The then administration meant every section of the Decree as it soon caught up with three drug traffickers that were executed.

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A new thinking later emerged, regarding the way the twin scourges of drug abuse and trafficking could be controlled. This necessitated the need for amendment of the 1984 decree, described by most concerned minds as one of the fiercest in the world. It was argued that when the stake or the risk is high as the case of capital punishment, it would succeed in raising prices of the illicit substances, thus making the trade more dangerously lucrative and attractive. The succeeding government in 1989 saw reason in these arguments when it decided to amend the Decree by expunging the death penalty clause, while substituting it with imprisonment terms ranging from two years to life.

In view of the fact that the drug menace continued to rise in profile, decree No. 48 of 1989, now an act of parliament CAP N30 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004, established a new body, independent of other existing law enforcement agencies in the country called the National Drug law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). The establishment of NDLEA was Nigeria’s deliberate effort at evolving an institutional framework for the suppression of the drug cankerworm. This is also in fulfilment of the country’s international obligation, as a signatory to the 1988 UN Convention, which recommended separate bodies to lead the onslaught against the ravaging drug menace in many parts of the world.

Until the advent of the NDLEA, the Board of customs and Excise (now Nigeria Customs Service) and the Nigeria police were the major drug interdiction organs of government, while the Federal Welfare Department was charged with the counselling, treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependent persons. From the activities of the Agency over the years, it is evident that government made no mistake in establishing the body that has become the reference point and the leading light in global efforts against drug cultivation, trafficking and abuse.


To become the most proactive and leading Drug Law Enforcement Agency on the African Continent and one of the best in the world through the provision of effective and efficient services to Nigerians by cutting off the supply of illicit drugs, reducing the demand for illicit drugs and other substances of abuse, tracing and recovering drug -related proceeds and contributing to the creation and maintenance of an enviable image for the Nation throughout the world.


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency shall deploy all resources at its disposal for the total eradication of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; suppression of demand for illicit drugs and other substances of abuse; recovery of ill-gotten wealth, acquired from proceeds of illicit drug trade, protection, enhancement and maintenance of the image of Nigeria and Nigerians at home and abroad.



The functions of the Directorate specified in the NDLEA Job Specification are numerous, and they fall into three broad categories. They are as follows:

The enforcement functions, which entail the detection and investigation of drug related money laundering activities, as well as the tracing, and investigation of suspected proceeds of illicit drugs to facilitate confiscation as empowered by both the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act (NDLEA ACT CAP N30 LFN 2004) and the Money Laundering Prohibition Act (MLPA 2011). In order words the Directorate is the Anti-Money Laundering unit of the Agency.
Providing representation for the Agency in her interaction with relevant sister law enforcement and security agencies, other government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and international organisations, so as to fashion out Nigeria’s AML policies and enforcement mechanisms that will be in line with the global efforts and standards.
Carry out sensitization and enlightenment programmes on behalf of the Agency, for relevant stakeholders and the general public, on AML issues as they relate to drug trafficking.


The Directorate is headed by a Director who is in charge of the smooth running of the entire Directorate; she is closely assisted by an Assistant Director. The Directorate also has three Principal staff Officers (PSO’s) who are in charge of Financial and Miscellaneous Investigation, Banking operations and Data Management. The three PSO’s also heads three teams of financial investigators. The Directorate’s office is located at the Agency’s headquarters, No. 4, Shaw Road, Ikoyi Lagos.


National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act


An Act to establish the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to enforce laws against the cultivation, processing, sale, trafficking and use of hard drugs and to empower the Agency to investigate persons suspected to have dealings in drugs and other related matter.
(1989 No. 48, 1990 No. 33, 1992, No. 15., 1995, No. 3 1999, No. 62) 29th  December, 1989)

Establishment of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency

1. There is hereby established a body to be known as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (in this Act referred to as “the Agency”). Composition and proceedings, etc., of the Agency

The Agency shall consist of the following: 

  • A Chairman
  • A representative of the Nigeria Police Force, not below the rank of an Assistant Inspector-General
  • The Director, Military Intelligence;
  • The comptroller-General of Customs
  • The Director, State Security Service
  • A representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice not below the rank of a Director 
  • The Director – General National Intelligence Agency
  • A representative each of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health not below the rank of Director; and Three other persons

2. The President shall appoint the chairman and the members specified in paragraph (a)-(c) of subsection (1) of this section on the recommendation of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

3. The chairman of the Agency shall be the chief executive of the Agency and shall be the accounting officer of the Agency.

4. The provisions of the First Schedule to this Act shall be effect with respect to the proceedings of the Agency and other matters mentioned therein.

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SERVICOM is acronym for 'Service Compact with All Nigerians'. It is a pact which the President and all Members of the Federal Executive Council adopted in March 2004, as part of the initiative to improve the standard of public service in Nigeria. SERVICOM expresses Federal Government's commitment to provide more responsive and citizen-friendly governance through quality service delivery that is efficient, accountable and transparent.


This directorate is charged with the responsibility of detection and prevention of offences in violation of any of the sections of the Act setting up the Agency. This responsibility includes among others, the monitoring of the movement of goods and services into and out of the country, in collaboration with the Nigerian Customs services. This also requires conducting of searches on persons and on incoming and outgoing vessels, including pleasure crafts, fishing vessels as well as aircraft, and other vehicles. By so doing, consignments suspected to contain drugs and psychotropic substances coming into or going out of the country are detected and impounded.

This has been responsible for the numerous arrests of persons in possession of drugs with the seizure of huge quantities of substances such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana. This mechanism has also halted the local distribution and exportation of any drugs that were smuggled into the country, including marijuana, which is grown locally. Often times the Agency combs locations where drugs are sold such as hotels, clubs, smoking joints and alleys where officers engage in combat operations to dismantle and disorganize both drug sellers and their consumers such that they are rendered incapable of furthering their deadly and criminal act. The Agency in the course of its operations ensures mutual cooperation with and among other security agencies within and outside the country, concerned with drug interdiction.


The drug problem is a global plague, affecting both developed and developing nations. Over the past decades, there have been global efforts in combating the physical, psychological and social-economic maladies associated with illicit drug use and trafficking. Such efforts address the problem through supply suppression and demand reduction activities.

Supply suppression aims at reducing the availability of illicit and controlled drugs through various interdiction activities and legal processes. Here, the drug problem is seen as a criminal activity. Demand reduction programmes, on the other hand, focus on bringing about a decline in the consumption of these substances, as well as effective treatment, aftercare, rehabilitation and social reintegration of drug dependent persons. This aspect of the drug problem is addressed as a health issue and is not to be criminalised.

Successive Government in Nigeria has put in place various Legislations against the abuse and trafficking in narcotic drugs and Psychotropic Substances. At the International scene, Nigeria has been a signatory to numerous bilateral and multilateral treaties as well as United Nations Conventions on Drug Control including the 1988 United Nations Convention against illicit traffic in Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. In line with this and public outcry by Nigerians of the damaging effects of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking, the Federal Government of Nigeria established the NDLEA via Decree 48 of 1989 (Now CAP N30 LFN 2004).

The NDLEA Act stated specifically that for the effective conduct of the functions of the Agency, there shall be established the following units:
  (a) general and assets investigation unit;
  (b) prosecution unit; and
  (c) counselling unit (Now Drug Demand Reduction Directorate)    

The counselling unit shall, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, have responsibility for:
  (a) campaigns, seminars and workshops aimed at educating the public on the dangers of narcotic drugs and       psychotropic substance thereby stimulating interest in and awareness about drug related problems;
  (b) after care rehabilitation, social reintegration and education of addicts;
  (c) the promotion of the welfare of convicts.

Part 1 section 3 of the act further explained the functions of drug demand reduction to include among others:
  (a) adoption of measures to eradicate illicit cultivation of narcotic plants and to eliminate illicit demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with a view to reducing human suffering and eliminating financial incentives for illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances;
  (b) the facilitation of rapid exchange of scientific and technical information and the conduct of research geared towards eradication of illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances;
  (c) reinforcing and supplementing the measures provided in the Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
  (d) collaborating with government bodies both within and outside Nigeria carrying on functions wholly or in part analogous to those of the Agency.

In Summary, the Goals of Drug Demand Reduction are:

  1. To reduce the availability and overall demand for illicit drugs.
  2. To provide factual information to all and sundry (especially those in the high risk group) on the attendant problems of drug abuse and trafficking.
  3. To teach personal skills needed to avoid drug abuse.
  4. To help those abusing drugs to overcome their dependency and reduce the risk they pose to themselves and others, with the ultimate aim of achieving a drug free and acceptable way of life.
  5. To ensure proper re-integration and adjustment of treated drug dependent persons into their families and communities.
  6. To build institutional capacity for effective drug data collection and research activities.
  7. To de-emphasize the criminality of drug abuse.
  8. To ensure proper training/development and utilisation of drug demand reduction personnel.
  9. To ensure community mobilisation and participation in the design, formulation, implementation and evaluation of preventive drug abuse education in order to effectively address incidence of drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria.
  10. To increase the level of awareness about treatment and rehabilitation centres and improve the operational capacity of the centres to provide good service.


Drug Demand Reduction is a major statutory responsibility of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency. In line with this and to achieve the broad goals of drug demand reduction, three mutual and complementary units discharge the responsibilities. These are:

  1. Research and NGO Liaison
  2. Drug Abuse Preventive Education
  3. Treatment and Rehabilitation


Research is a systematic and scientific way of gathering, collating, processing and analyzing information or facts about an event or process in order to understand, predict, modify or control the event or process.  A clear understanding of the nature and extent of the drug problem is the most important and first step in dealing with it. Therefore, objective and valid research is a necessary aspect of any meaningful effort at addressing the problem. In line with this, the responsibility of this unit includes:

  1. Determining the types of drugs commonly abused, the magnitude, nature and extent of the problem, including the percentage of various segments of the populace in drug problem, as well as demographic characteristics of abusers.
  2. Determining the physical, social and psychological problems associated with the drug abuse problems e.g., mental illness, traffic accidents, family disintegration, etc.
  3. Establishing the level of violence associated with drug abuse problem e.g., arson, assassinations, suicides, rape, armed robbery, secret cults, political hooliganism and thuggery, ethnic/communal clashes, etc.
  4. Assisting in planning so as to enable appropriate utilization of available resources.
  5. Evaluating measures put in place to combat the menace of drug abuse.
  6. Regular update of treatment and rehabilitation facilities available.
  7. Determining the Socio-economic and cultural factors for the abuse and dealing in drugs.

The department collaborates with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in drug demand reduction activities in the country with a view to achieving the Agency’s goals. The Agency collaborates with the following NGO’s to achieve the broad goals of drug demand reduction in Nigeria.


The Agency’s training and manpower responsibility is central to the achievement of its vision of an efficient Agency with evident intelligence gathering capability, operational effectiveness and administrative proficiency, to be able to tackle the drug war in its totality. What is also fundamental here is its manpower development philosophy of capacity building through training and retraining of staff. They Agency’s officers and men are therefore exposed to both local and international training to ensure that their skills are properly horned for the sensitive drug war which demands delicate handling, and the application of modern methods.
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The Agency’s Academy in Jos, which has been adopted as the Regional Academy for Drug Control by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is to achieve the sole purpose of providing limitless training opportunities for the officers and men of the Agency. That the Academy has become a veritable ground for the training of other sister security organizations, is a clear indication that the manpower development policy of the Agency is not an idle proposition.


Treatment: This is an organized means of assisting drug dependent persons either in a hospital setting or outside the hospital with the aim of making the client or patient recover his or her normal status and state of health. The aim is to stabilize the drug dependent persons under a well planned treatment programme. In fact, in the context of drug abuse, the World Health Organization defines treatment as: “The process that begins when psychoactive substance abusers come into contact with a health care provider or any other community service and may continue through a succession of specific interventions until the highest attainable level of health or well being is reached”. Treatment aims to manage the bio-psycho-social problems resulting from drug abuse, in order to improve or maximize personal functioning and social integration.

Rehabilitation: This is a process of improving the residual functional capacity of a drug dependent person such that the individual can resume his or her expected role within the society.  Due to the adverse effects of drug abuse on the dependent user, rehabilitation assists the treated individual to recover those diminished or lost capacities caused by drug dependency.  Rehabilitation aims at assisting the drug dependent individual reintegrate into the community as a productive person.

Treatment and rehabilitation gives drug dependent persons a sense of belonging, that he is not rejected by the society and that he can be helped. More so, a treated drug dependent person will not recruit others into drugs; hence treatment is needed for prevention.

In line with this NDLEA carries out treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependent persons in the NDLEA national headquarters and all the 36 state commands including FCT-Abuja. The public are advised to visit any of the commands and contacts as provided in this website.

Ways by which NDLEA carries out the task of treatment and rehabilitation include:

  • Evaluation, Assessment/diagnosis
  • Detoxification/Stabilization
  • Counselling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Combination therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Drug Education
  • Teaching on Coping Skills
  • Rehabilitation/Reintegration
  • Relapse Prevention (Aftercare/Follow up)

NDLEA thorough the directorate of drug demand reduction served as the focal point for TREATNET 11 project in Nigeria from January 1, 2008 – December 31, 2011. TREATNET is the acronyms for the network of drug dependence treatment providers globally. It is an initiative of the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime. The training is based on the TREATNET Training Package (TTP) which is in three volumes: Volume A, Volume B and Volume C. It is a capacity building component of the global Project GLOJ71 organized by UNODC with NDLEA as focal point. It was aimed at improving the technical capacity for the provision of diversified and effective drug treatment and rehabilitation services, including their capacity to support HIV/AIDS prevention and care. It consists of the provision of evidence based treatment, provision of technical assistance, identification and dissemination of good practices while exploring the possibilities for maintaining and enhancing field level activities.

The training programme commenced in May 2009 with the training in Mombassa, Kenya of Master Trainers who subsequently trained 6 trainers from each of the participating countries. These countries include Cote D’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia.

In Nigeria, a total of three hundred and seventy-four (374) professionals participated in the TREATNET 11 training which took place in 2012 in four centres namely: Neuropsychiatric Hospital Aro, Abeokuta Ogun State, Neuropsychiatric Hospital Barnawa, Kaduna Sate, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Calabar, Cross River State and Federal Neuropsychiatric hospital Maiduguri, Borno State. These professionals comprises of Counsellors, Psychologists, Social Workers, Nurses, Medical Doctors, Pharmacists, Educators, and Occupational therapists among others.


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has called on members of the public to be mindful of the activities of fraudsters who pose as recruitment agents of the NDLEA and report promptly to the authority for necessary action. The Agency will arrest and prosecute those involved in the criminal act.

NDLEA as a reputable government Agency conducts its affairs transparently in line with established procedures and with respect for the rule of law. Besides, applicants do not pay money for employment in the Agency.

Members of the public should not be deceived as there is nothing like secret recruitment.
It is worrisome that despite the presence of NDLEA offices in the thirty-six (36) States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja; some people still prefer to deal with fraudsters when they can easily go to the office closest to them for confirmation.

The Agency also encouraged victims to speak out for such cases to be properly investigated and legal action taken against culprits.


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is set to beef up its staff strength through electronic recruitment which shall commence within the week. Applicants are to log on to www.ndlearecruitment.org to complete and submit their applications online. The Agency had identified the need to increase its manpower level which is necessary for effective fight against drug dealers and barons. This according to the Agency is imperative if it must remain vibrant and dynamic in its drug control responsibilities.

The Agency management stated that “the ever changing nature of illicit drug trade demands that drug law enforcement officers must constantly evolve winning strategies. Besides training and re-training of officers, it is equally important for us to increase staff strength for effective coverage of the entire nooks and cranny of this country where drug is peddled and/or abused daily.” Over the years, the Agency manpower level has fallen drastically due to attrition caused mainly by disciplinary actions, deaths and retirements. And with the growing number of arrests and seizures related to Cannabis cultivation and distribution within and outside Nigeria, the Agency is set to ensure that it has adequate manpower to handle the challenge.

The exercise is also part of Federal Government policy of creating job opportunities to ensure that youths are empowered to contribute to the development of the country. The selection process will therefore be very transparent and competitive. “Adequate measures have been taken to ensure that only the best are recruited” the committee assured.

Prospective candidates were reminded of the reality of drug control and be prepared to confront all odds. “Let me stress that drug control is a serious business and only dedicated, committed, hardworking and self driven individuals will enjoy working in the Agency. We are going to be very strict on the issue of age, height, physical fitness, character and sound reasoning. We are therefore cautious of every entry requirements”.

In line with current information and communications technology demand, the entire process will be carried out online on our website www.ndlearecruitment.org. Submitting and application entails a simple process of e-registration as detailed information and options are provided on e-recruitment portal. Applicants are required to purchase an access code for a fee of One thousand five hundred naira (N1,500.00) only from a list of 21 participating banks. The portal will be available to the public on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 as from 10.00am.  The portal will remain open in the next six (6) weeks.

The general public is therefore invited to visit the e-recruitment portal and submit applications in accordance with their qualifications and cadre preferences.


With the recognition of drug abuse as a global health problem, the Untied Nations declared 1991 to the year 2000, the Decade of Action against Drug Abuse This Is a goal worthy of being pursuit by all nations of the World. For it to be attained, the war must be fought on all fronts. The war against drug abuse must be fought particularly among adolescents and youths who have been consistently Identified ass high flak group. Students in junior and senior secondary school as well as tertiary Institution constitute a large proportion of this group.

In order to effectively tactile drug problems among students, the student themselves must be involved, The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) very much believe in this. that Is why it is enlisting their support by organizing them into Drug-Free Clubs. The rationale behind the setting upon Drug-Free club Is to provide a forum for students to pursue activities aimed at promoting drug-free life-style among them as they pursue their education It is therefore, necessary for the students to show concern about drugs and drug related problems and how to get rid of both among them.

This manual Is designed to provide students with some background Information on drugs and drug-related problems information and guidelines on setting up of Drug-Free Clubs in schools. The setting up of Drug-Free Club In all secondary schools end tertiary institutions in Nigeria Is the ultimate expectation of the NDLEA. Through the clubs the following objectives are expected to be achieved.
  1. Promotion of alternative activities to drug involvement.
  2. Increased understanding of the dangers posed by alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
  3. Encouraging students to resist drug use and persuading those using drugs to seek help.
  4. Identifying and reporting students who are involved In drugs in school authorities not necessary for penal action but to be helped

NDLEA In the News

  • NDLEA nabs 148 over illicit drugs in Benue - Daily Trust
  • In Adamawa: NDLEA seizes 681.267kg of illicit drugs - Pulse Nigeria
  • NDLEA discovers illicit drug labs, arrests kingpin - Daily Trust
  • NDLEA arrests 148 suspects in one year - The Nation Newspaper
  • FRSC, NDLEA Partner To Re-Train Tanker Drivers - The Tide


Address: 4, Shaw Road (Onilegbale Road)
Postal Address: PMB 40004, Falomo Post Office, Ikoyi, Lagos. 
Phone: Tel: +234-80-621-999-99
Email: info@ndlea.gov.ng

* Schedule I and II drugs have a high potential for abuse. They require greater storage security and have a quota on manufacturing, among other restrictions. Schedule I drugs are available for research only and have no approved medical use; Schedule II drugs are available only by prescription (unrefillable) and require a form for ordering. Schedule III and IV drugs are available by prescription, may have five refills in 6 months, and may be ordered orally. Some Schedule V drugs are available over the counter.

** Taking drugs by injection can increase the risk of infection through needle contamination with staphylococci, HIV, hepatitis, and other organisms.

*** Associated with sexual assaults.
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