Says it has 14.3% rate as against 5.3% global index
By Henry Umoru
THE United Nations Organisation, UNO, yesterday told the National Assembly that Nigeria has been categorised as the highest in Drug use prevalence rate in the world with 14.3% as against 5.3% for the entire global community.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a one-day sensitization workshop on Drug Abuse and Rape organised by Christabel’s Initiatives and facilitated by the Senate and House of Representatives joint committee on Narcotic Drugs, the National Programme Officer of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Mrs. Folusho Ajayi Adelekan said that available statistics showed that there are 14.4million drug users in Nigeria and 14 .3% prevalence rate, adding that this is higher than the global statistics of 5.3% drug use prevalence rate.
Adelekan who lamented that though Nigeria has 5 years National Drug Control Master plan but not well being funded operational wise, said, “The National Drug Control Master Plan Nigeria came up with within the last two years, is not being funded adequately and the menace requires actions packed operational strategy that must be well funded.
“Aside from the lack of a well funded operational plan, there are no enough treatment or rehabilitation centres in the country for drug addicts.
“Even in the realm of prevention, enough actions are not being put in place in terms of education, sensitization, and discipline at the home front.”
In her contribution, a Deputy Director from the National Agency for the Control of Aids, Dr. Yinka Falola – Anoemuah who noted that the seriousness of actions applied in tackling the scourge of HIV / AIDs in the country, should be used in confronting the menace of Drugs abuse and rape in Nigeria, said, ” Two million people are living with AIDS in Nigeria but being managed without much havoc in the country.
” Even at that, the operational master plan has been put on the ground to end AIDS in Nigeria by 2030, the way Polio was eliminated.
” Though Drug abuse is habitual and not a disease like HIV/AIDS, but can still be frontally tackled operational master plan used to fight HIV/AIDS in the country to the barest minimum”, she said.
On his part, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila who was represented by the House Leader, Hon Hassan Doguwa said that the time has come to fight the menace right from the home front and in Schools at both the primary and secondary levels.
He said, ” Most of the drug addicts in the country lacked the required discipline and decent upbringing at the home front.
” The very reason, curricular at the primary and secondary schools levels, need to be reviewed for the inclusion of subjects against drug abuse and violence against women, particularly rape.
” On our part as lawmakers, required legislative actions will be taken to repeal some of the obsolete laws and enact new ones for provision of appropriate penalties for offenders of both offenses.
“Though capital punishment or death penalty may be considered too harsh for a convicted rapist, but any other severe punishment must be put in place to deal with rapists in the land.”