United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said yesterday that Nigeria ranked highest in drug use prevalence rate in the world with 14.3% as against 5.3% for the entire global community.
National Programme Officer of the UN agency, Mrs. Folusho Ajayi Adelekan, disclosed this in Abuja at a one-day sensitization workshop on Drug Abuse and Rape organised by the Christabels Initiatives in collaboration with the Senate and House of Representatives joint Committee on Narcotic and Drugs.
According to her, available statistics show that there are 14.4million drug users in Nigeria and 14 .3% prevalence rate.
This, she explained is higher than the global statistics of 5.3% drug use prevalence rate.
Adelekan lamented that though Nigeria has five years National Drug Control Master plan, it is not being well funded.
“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 lack of 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,” she said.
In her own contribution, a Deputy Director in the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr Yinka Falola-Anoemuah, said the seriousness of actions applied in tackling the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria should be used in confronting the menace of drugs abuse and rape in the country.
She said: “Two million people are living with AIDS in Nigeria but being managed without much havoc in the country.
“Even at that, operational master plan has been put on ground to end AIDS in Nigeria by 2030, the way polio was eliminated.
“Though drug abuse is habitual and not 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.”
Earlier, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who was represented by the House Leader, Hon Hassan Doguwa, said the time has come to fight the menace right from the home front and in Schools at both the primary and secondary levels.
“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 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 offences.
“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,” he said.
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