03 Nov The Imminent Menace Of Drugs
According to a survey led by Nigeria’s Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Center for Research and Information on substance abuse with technical support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), it was discovered that in 2018 alone, nearly 15% of the adult population in Nigeria, which is around 14.3 million people, reported a considerable level of psychoactive drugs substances. This is a rate that is much higher than the 2016 global average of 5.6% among adults.
The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released data on the Drug Seizure and Arrest Statistics and the total quantity of drug seizures and arrests in 2019 increased drastically than what was recorded the previous year. According to the Bureau of Statistics, the quantity of drug seized across the country in 2019 was 621,035.46Kg of drugs, which was a 1000% increase as compared to 9,831Kg of drugs seized in 2018 with Edo, Ondo, and the Plateau States topping the charts in 2018 and Kwara, Edo and Ondo States topping the charts in 2019.
This extreme increase in the number of drug seizures recorded was concentrated in the North-Central Geo-Political zone which comprises states like Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, and Federal Capital Territory. The increase in 2019 in the North Central zone was a 39389.83% increase when compared to 2018.
A large quantity of drugs seized across the country were majorly from the Seme-Border post which is located in Lagos State and the Muritala Muhammed Airport in Lagos State. Proportionately, Proportionally more men than women have used drugs in Nigeria in the past years as the number of arrests showed that men are likely ten times more likely to be arrested for drug trafficking in 2019, with 8,571 men arrested and just 908 women arrested.
Unemployment, insecurity, lack of education and poverty remain the root causes of drug abuse. In 2019, the North Central zone ranked the second highest unemployment rate zone which was 27% that was about 3.2 Million people unemployed in 2019. Until these problems can be resolved, a better future remains a distant one.