Government committed to the fight against illicit drugs menace, says Bawumia

The vice-president said Ghana stood ready to collaborate with all relevant international bodies and organisations in dealing with the world drug problem

Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has reiterated the government’s commitment to fight the menace of illicit drugs and help the vulnerable focus their energies on self and societal development.

“The government will continue to retool all the security agencies including the Narcotics Control Commission to protect our communities, our borders, and in particular the youth who are vulnerable from the use and trade in the illicit narcotics trafficking,” Dr Bawumia added.

The vice-president made the remarks at the passing out ceremony of Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) cadet officers at Assin Fosu in the Central Region.

The ceremony was attended by Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior, Kaiffe Mensah, Board Chairman of NACOC, Kenneth Adu-Manfoah, director general of NACOC, Kwame Asuah Takyi, comptroller, Ghana Immigration Service, and other ministers of state.

He said despite some of the challenges faced by the Commission, the government was committed to ensuring that NACOC’s operations and activities became a significant model for achieving its mandate.

He said the NACOC was mandated to ensure public health and safety, and that persons known to be victims of substance use disorders, sought and received the necessary professional treatment aimed at assisting them in recovering and reintegrating into society without discrimination and stigmatisation.

“In this regard, the government is putting in place measures and adequate resources in building rehabilitation centres to cater for people with substance use disorders,” he noted.

He disclosed that the government was in the process of procuring more K9 dogs into the country, to enhance the operations of the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) at the Kotoka International Airport and other relevant operational areas to facilitate trade.

The vice-president said the world drug problem required international cooperation and collaboration in dealing with the transnational nature and the internationally organised criminal gangs which were involved in the illicit trade.

He added that Ghana stood ready to collaborate with all relevant international bodies and organisations in dealing with the world drug problem.

Dr Bawumia also noted that “the government is working and collaborating with other countries such as the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany and other organisations such as United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) and ECOWAS in the area of drug law enforcement, and also support the Commission in a variety of ways, such as capacity building and equipment to improve its operations.”

He said despite the “economic challenges we are facing, the government has given financial clearance for the training and engagement of 78 young men and women who were graduating into the Commission today.

The vice-president told the graduating class that “undergoing such rigorous training must not be viewed as an easy path because this is a very sensitive institution that requires commitment, integrity and loyalty to mother Ghana.”

“The people of Ghana are depending on you to secure our borders and you dare not fail them,” he stressed.

Dr Bawumia urged them to be resolute and maintain discipline, resilience, and focus on their job description, as well as avoid engaging in activities that would not benefit their professional working life and has the potential to tarnish the image of the country.

He also urged them to remain professional in all their responsibilities and avoid being influenced by unpatriotic individuals, acting primarily in their own self-interest to combat illicit drug trafficking and related organised crime.

The vice-president congratulated all the award winners and urged them to see this as the beginning and to inspire them to continually seek excellence.

Ivon Walier N Kuutiero, a graduating officer, was the Best in Academics and the overall best student in the academy.

Other award winners were Roland Neequaye, best in drills, Mintah Yaw Nyarko, male best in physical training and Chelsea Bawumia, female best physical trainer.

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