After Kano State was said to have two million drug addicts with 16 per cent prevalence rate, the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa has now disclosed that drug abuse is most prevalent in Oyo and Lagos States.
Naija News recalls that Marwa had stated on August 30, 2021 that “in Kano State, drug abuse prevalence is 16 per cent; that is, in every six persons, one is a drug addict and they are between the ages of 15 years and 64 years.
“Kano State has close to two million drug users abusing tramadol, codeine and other cough syrups, rather than cannabis,” he said when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
Speaking at a public lecture organised by United Action for Change (UAC) in Lagos today, Wednesday, the NDLEA chairman said no fewer than 14.3 million Nigerians abuse drugs, with the South-west zone recording the highest prevalence.
Marwa expressed concern over Nigeria’s drug statistics, saying the country is “number one in the use of cannabis”.
According to him, “Nigeria’s drug statistics should give every one of us a sleepless night.
“Not less than 14.3 million Nigerians abuse drugs — Nigerians between the ages of 16 and 64 years. Among them, one in four drug users is female.
“Expectedly, cannabis is the most abused substance by Nigerians. What’s alarming, however, is that a staggering 10.6 million Nigerians abuse the use of cannabis.
“That number makes our country number one in the use of cannabis. Let’s ponder this for a moment; 10.6 million is more than the estimated population of Botswana and Lesotho combined.
“Most of the abusers first started at the age of 19, and the highest level of usage is concentrated in youth between 25 and 29.
“The highest abuse of drugs is reported in the southern geopolitical zone, with the south-west recording the highest prevalence with over four million Nigerians engaging in the use of various drugs.
“In this regard, the Lagos-Oyo axis is the epicentre of drug abuse in Nigeria.”