President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called for workable drug policies that will sanitise the health sector and guarantee safety for all segments of the society.
Saraki who spoke when he received a delegation of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, led by its chair, Ruth Dreifuss, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja, also noted that robust collaboration across borders has become imperative in order to win the war on criminal drug markets.
He commended the efforts of the Commission, its Commissioners and other partners over the years adding that the pathway laid by the Commission has provided a roadmap for pragmatic policy changes which has helped to resolve drug-related problems and bringing it to manageable condition.
The President of the Senate told Dreifuss – a former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs – that there is need for fundamental reorientation of policies and adequate funding for relevant agencies of government in the fight against drug abuse both at the local and international level.
“I appreciate the work your Commission is doing, the Senate and National Assembly is ready to partner with you,” Saraki said. “That is the best way we can work together to address this problem.
“We are beginning to take seriously the collaborating approach looking at the crime rate, health implications of the incidence of drug abuse. We have to form workable policies to ensure that health policies play key role, like the registration of Pharmacies and across the counter drug prescriptions.
“I believe that robust collaboration across countries will go a long way. This criminal markets have a lot of network across board in many countries. There is need to institute a platform to resolve issues of immigration, drug and human trafficking.
“We assure you that in the Nigerian parliament, you have a partner and we are committed to this course,” he stated.
Earlier, the Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, Dreifuss, who commended the 8th National Assembly for its proactive approach to major national issues pointed out that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to enacting drug policy reforms other than including universal Human Rights and minimal standards.
She urged political office holders at all levels to be bold and assume their full responsibility by removing drugs from the hands of organised criminal gangs and take control of the markets in order to protect the health, safety and rights of every citizen.