The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has again raised the alarm that Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder due to the high rate and prevalence of drug addicts across the country. The agency said it was shocking that Nigeria was leading even beyond the international coverage of drug abuse globally which is put at five per cent but lamented that Nigeria currently had 15 per cent drug abuse rate.
The Director, Public Affairs, NAFDAC, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara State while answering questions on a Radio Kwara personality interview programme, “Playing Host” Jimoh, on the radio programme, said the agency had an average conservative estimate of about 15 million people who were on drugs and three million of them could be conveniently called drug addicts. According to him, this development had made the agency to conclude that the level of drug abuse had led to the high level of violence, kidnapping, terrorism, armed robbery and even dangerous driving by some Nigerian drivers.
He said most youths under the age bracket of 19 and 22 and even parents both male and female had engaged in taking hard concoctions different from the common cocaine and heroin. The Director of Public Affairs of the agency who is also a member of the 28-member Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse said the committee had a series of dialogue sessions with various stakeholders on how to reduce, eradicate if not totally eliminate the abuse of drugs in the country.
According to him, the committee would submit its findings and recommendations to the Federal Government in May this year for implementation. Jimoh recalled that NAFDAC had recently destroyed billions of Naira worth of containers loaded with tramadol and other related hard drugs which would have destroyed several lives if allowed to go into circulation. He also disclosed that NAFDAC had shifted away from being just a mere regulatory agency of public health institutions, but now a key driver in the present transformation agenda in changing the diversification of the economy from its monopolistic dependence on oil. He urged Nigerians to watch the type of food and creams they applied on their bodies as some of such items were causes of kidney failure, diabetics, cancer and hypertension, stressing that most people perished because of lack of knowledge and appealed to parents to stand up to their responsibilities and not leave their parental rights to teachers in schools or guardians. Punch
Pix: A drug addict in Ngeria