10 Functions Of NDLEA In Nigeria & Roles In Preventing Drug Abuse

Functions Of NDLEA & Roles In Nigeria. The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is a federal law enforcement agency in Nigeria. The drug enforcement agency was established on January 1, 1990, by Decree number 48. Decree number 48 is now known as the Act of Parliament.

The Act’s aim is to combat drug smuggling, trafficking, and use within Nigeria and around its borders. At the time, there was a rapidly growing availability of drugs and trafficking in the country. These concerns ushered in the signing of the NDLEA act.

What exactly are the roles of NDLEA in Preventing Drug Abuse In Nigeria?

Functions Of NDLEA In Nigeria & Roles In Preventing Drug Abuse

The Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency is tasked with the following:

Prevent illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs

The primary task of the NDLEA is to enact measures to stop the movement of drugs within and around the borders of the country.

Enforcing Drug Laws

The agency is responsible for coordinating the arrest, investigation, and prosecution of all offenses related to the trafficking of drugs. There are other drug units outside the NDLEA with similar responsibilities.

These peripheral institutions work hand in hand with the NDLEA and are responsible to the Agency in the performance of their duties.

Working Beyond Borders to Stifle Drug Activities

The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s jurisdiction is usually within Nigeria. However, they do have some international obligations. They are responsible for pursuing and coordinating Nigerian drug investigations both domestically and abroad.

They are to work with international drug units in several matters of enforcing drug laws and suppressing international activities of illicit traffic.

Sometimes, it requires the effort of several drug agencies from different countries to perform operations in the arrest investigation, and prosecution of drug-related offenses.

Trace and Seize Financial Proceeds from Drug-Related Activities

The NDLEA also keeps a tab on the financial flow of Drug trafficking. They are tasked with identifying financial proceeds accrued through drug-related offenses, investigate and confiscate such proceeds.

The very backbone of illegal and illicit drug trafficking is money. Without any financial muscle, most drug-related offenses can’t be executed. For this reason, perhaps, the NDLEA’s most pertinent function is to mop up as much money as possible from trafficking and illegal drug-related activities.

Eradication of Narcotic Plants and Substances

The Agency’s function sometimes is as simple as starting from the top of the chain:

Eradication of illicit cultivation of narcotic plants and substances.

They also try to stifle the demand for these narcotics and psychotropic substances.

Building on the Effectiveness of Eradication Efforts

The agency’s statutory obligations aren’t limited to just enforcement.  They are also obliged to continually tweak eradication measures of drug-related activities to improve effectiveness.

Drug trafficking and its participants are always looking for an edge and their activities are never static. It becomes important for the NDLEA to also be dynamic with its activities and processes.

The NDLEA Plays an Important Role in Drug-Related Research

This ties into the role mentioned above.

The agency acts as a unit of research and hub of scientific and technical information geared towards the eradication of illegal use of narcotic drugs and substances. Psychotropic substances are always being adapted to form new illegal substances and the NDLEA has a role to play in researching and gathering these activities.

Drug abuse is usually as a result of legitimately-manufactured substances being used unintendedly and turned into illicit drug traffic. Depressants, stimulants, and analgesics are often suspected of dependence and abuse.

The goal of the agency’s research and technical information is to gather intelligence regularly on these activities. It’s often a thin line to walk. The agency must make sure these ‘controlled substances’ are readily available for medical use, while also preventing abuse and illicit distribution.

The research and information help to uncover suspected sources of diversion and take civil actions.

Early Destruction and Disposal of Narcotic Drugs

The federal drug enforcement agency destroys and disposes of seized drugs in a timely fashion.

It’s their duty to ensure illicit drugs confiscated and captured are contained.

Upholding the Convention on Psychotropic Substances and Similar International Drug Protocols

There are international Conventions on Illegal drugs like the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic.

These conventions and protocols were set in place to mitigate the magnitude of the traffic of narcotic drugs.

The NDLEA has a duty to supplement the measures stipulated by these conventions within its jurisdiction and beyond as necessary.

Identify and Investigate Suspects of illegal drug use and Participation

Anyone being suspected of being involved in drug-related offenses are to be identified and investigated under the purview of the drug act.

These are some of the most important roles of the Nigerian Drug Enforcement Agencies.

What You Need to Know About the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency

Agency Overview

  • Formed: January 1, 1990
  • Annual Budget: NGN325m (FY2017)
  • Employees: 7,600 (2014)
  • Legal Personality: Government: Government Agency

Jurisdictional Structure

  • Federal Agency: Nigeria 
  • General nature: Federal Law Enforcement

Operational Structure

  • Headquarters: NHQ, 4 Shaw Road, Ikoyi-Lagos 
  • Agent Executives: Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (Chairman/Chief executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement) (2015)
  • Parent Agency: Federal Ministry of Justice


  • http://www.ndlea.gov.ng/v1/

Seal of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency

Departments of the Nigerian Drug Enforcement Agency

  • Directorate of Operations and General Investigation
  • Directorate of Assets and Financial Investigation
  • Directorate of Prosecution and Legal Services
  • Directorate of Drug Demand Reduction
  • Directorate of Training and Manpower Development
  • Directorate of Technical


Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency State Branches

This article has covered some of the pertinent functions of the NDLEA. If you have any questions or clarification on some of the functions of the federal agency please let us know in the comment section below.

That’s all about Functions Of NDLEA In Nigeria & Roles Of NDLEA In Preventing Drug Abuse In Nigeria.