By Andrew Oota
Senate on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the alarming growth of the menace of drugs and narcotics abuse in the Nigeria.
Senate also directed its committee on National Agency for Administration Control (NAFDAC), Drugs and Narcotics to liaise with relevant federal government agencies to convoke a National Summit on the state of drugs and narcotics abuse in the country.
This came on the heels of a motion titled: “Urgent need to address the menace of drug abuse in Nigeria” sponsored by Senator Babangida Uba.
Senate President Godswill Akpabio in his contribution, said the menace of drug abuse in the country is becoming so alarming to the extent that some youth now drill holes on soakaway pits and sniff the vapour to get high.
He called on parents to always check their soakways to ensure that their are no holes.
On his part, Senate, Deputy Senate President Jibrin Barau noted that the “future of every country lies in its youth and when you have something that is destroying your youth, it shows that your future is in jeopardy.
“This scourge is everywhere, even celebrities who are supposed to be role models, be exemplary and show the way for others to follow are also into it. Politicians alike and indeed, all spheres of our life.
“The NDLEA is doing very well but the motion is a wake-up call for all those that have the responsibility for making sure that we deal with this matter to wake up and make sure that they do the needful in getting this matter dealt with properly.
“We must include this phenomenon in our school curriculum to begin to teach our children from the primary school level, the negative effects of drug abuse. Elsewhere, like in the United States, there are courses even in the universities that deal with abuse. We need to put that on the front burner in our higher institutions so that people will be aware of the harmful effects of drug abuse.
“It is a sad commentary on the way things are done in this country. Human capital is what drives a good economy and we have an abundance of population but we are allowing it to get destroyed through the intake of illicit drugs.
“We must all join hands and work together to make sure we deal with the menace of drug abuse.”
Senator Hussaini in his lead debate, note that “Nigeria is currently facing a rise in drug abuse which has reached an unprecedented level transforming from a mere transit route in the 1990s, into a country filled with drug abusers and drug traffickers all over its land space, while a population of 30 to 35 milion spends approximately $15,000 and $30,000
annually on psychotropic drugs and alcoholic beverages, respectively;
He added: “Also note that according to a report by the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime and the European Union
on drug use in Nigeria, about 14.3 million Nigerians between the ages of 15 and 64, are drug abusers;
“Aware that the report stated that 10.6 million addicts were cannabis users, 4.6 addicts used pharmaceutical
opioids and 238,000 drug abusers used amphetamines;
“Also aware that the report further revealed that the prevalence of drug use per geopolitical zone as far back as 2017 shows that the North-West zone accounted for 12% (3,000,000), North-East zone 13.6% (2,090,000), North-
Central zone 10.0% (1,500,000), South-West zone 22.4% (4,382,000), South-Southzone16.6% (2,124,000), and the
South-East zone 13.8% (1,550,000).”
He lamented that the main drugs abused in Nigeria are mood altering or psycho active drugs, performance-enhancing
drugs, dependency drugs, as well as prescription drugs, “whose side effects include addiction, trauma, mental
illness and often times resulting in ill health, violence and involvement in criminal activities.”
He said the Senate is disturbed that a significant number of deaths from accidents and violent crimes have been traced to the
activities of persons under the influence of drugs “especially the discovery of more dangerous substances called ‘Kurkura’ in the North and ‘Umkpromiri’ in the South.”
The motion reads in part: “Worried that the prevalence of drug abuse in Nigeria is a public health challenge which seems to be on the increase despite intervention by international, regional, federal and state bodies through laws, policies and
“Also worried that the war against drug abuse carried out by the NDLEA and other relevant institutions of both
state and federal governments is not providing the required result, hence the need to include special drug
education as a compulsory subject in the Nigerian basic education;
“Alarmed that the consequences of drug abuse will continue to endanger our national development, public
safety and family system if urgent action is not taken to strengthen existing legal, policy and institutional
frameworks to face the challenges with all sense of
Senator Mohammed Ogoshi Onawo also supported the motion.