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General News Mon, 21 Jul 2008

Dedication, commitment can win war on drugs - Addo-Kufuor

Accra, July 21, GNA - Interior Minister, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor Monday said Ghana's campaign against the narcotics trade could be won "if we remain committed and dedicated to weeding out this potential nation wrecker".

He said it was important that the public realized, contrary to perceptions that the country was losing grip on the narcotic trade that, the fight against the menace had not been without successes.

However, despite these successes made by the drug-detection agencies in controlling the situation, the rather sluggish judicial system and the lack of requisite equipment, low remuneration and inadequate logistics hampered the smooth operations of these agencies, he said.

The Minister was addressing staff of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) in Accra as part of his familiarization tour of institutions under the ministry.

Dr Addo-Kufuor said government had put in place structures to strengthen these agencies, including the NACOB, and was collaborating with major international players to ensure that they were well trained and resourced to make them effective and efficient in managing the problem.

He said government was adept with the challenges of NACOB, including low staff salaries, inadequate budgetary allocation, inappropriate equipment, enhanced staff training among others and was taking steps to address them.

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The Minister said there was the need for a review of the law establishing NACOB to enable it to function effectively to meet international standards on laws governing narcotics and psychotropic substances.

He said the various measures being put together, if diligently managed, would not fail to stem the importation, export and local consumption of drugs.

"As we become more successful in detecting and arresting people involved in narcotics trade in Ghana, there would be fewer cases of people from this country arrested with drugs in foreign destinations." He commended the staff of NACOB and other security agencies for the efforts to ensure that the war against the narcotics menace was successful.

Last month, only two arrests were made at the Kotoka International Airport and no Ghanaian was arrested at Heathrow Airport in the UK. And for July, there has been no narcotics arrest from Ghana at the Heathrow Airport.

Source: GNA
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