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Nigeria has highest drug addicts globally – NAFDAC

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Wole Adedeji, Ilorin

Nigeria is now has the highest rate and prevalence of drug addicts in the world, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has said.

The country 15 percent of the world rating as against the closest nation that is rated 5 percent thereby making the country to be sitting on a keg of gun powder.

The Director, Public Affairs National Agency for Food And Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Abubakar Ateiza Jimoh, made this known while fielding questions from newsmen, in Ilorin, Kwara State.

According to him, “It is shocking that Nigeria is leading even beyond the international coverage of drug abuse  which is put  at five percent but lamented that Nigeria currently, has 15 percent drug abuse rate.”

Jimoh said the agency has an average conservative estimate of about fifteen million people who are on drugs and three million of them can be conveniently called drug addicts.

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According to him, this development had made NAFDAC 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 a section of  Nigerian drivers.

He also said that most youths under the age bracket of 19 and 21  and even parents of  male and female sexes were seriously engaged in taking hard concoctions different from the common cocaine and heroin.

The names of such concoctions, Dr. Jimoh said, could not be easily ascertained pointing out that such drugs were imported into the country from other African countries.

The NAFDAC Director of Public Affairs, who is also a member of the 28- member  Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse,  headed by Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (rtd), said the committee had series of dialogue sessions with various stakeholders.

He said such dialogues and meetings were to look for ways on how to reduce, eradicate  if not to  totally eliminate the abuse of drugs in the Nigeria.

According to him, the committee would submit its findings and recommendations to the Federal Government in May this year for implementation.

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