By Tunde Akanbi
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has again raised the alarm that Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder due to the high rate and prevalence of drug addicts across the country.
According to the agency, it is shocking that Nigeria is leading even beyond the international coverage of drug abuse globally which is put at five percent but lamented that Nigeria currently has fifteen percent drug abuse rate.
The Director, Public Affairs ,National Agency for Food And Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dr Abubakar Jimoh stated these in Ilorin the Kwara state capital while answering questions on a Radio Kwara personality interview program “Playing Host”.
Dr Jimoh said the agency has an average conservative estimate of about fifteen million people who are on drugs and three million of them can be conveniently called drug addicts.
According to him, this development had made the agency to conclude that the level of drug abuse had led to the high level of violence, kidnapping, terrorism, armed robbery and even dangerous driving by some Nigeria drivers.
He said most youths under the age bracket of nineteen and twenty two and even parents both Male and female have seriously engaged in taken hard concoctions different from the common cocaine and heroin which names could not be ascertained imported into the country from other African countries.
The Director of Public Affairs of the agency who is also a member of the twenty eight member Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse which is multisectoral headed by Retired Brigadier -General Buba Marwa said the committee had series of dialogue sessions with various stakeholders on how to reduce, eradicate if not totally eliminate the abuse of drugs in the country.
According to him, the committee would submit its findings and recommendations to the Federal Government in May this year for implementation.
Similarly, he disclosed that the committee was working and engaging various embassies of countries where these hard drugs are being imported to Nigeria by tackling the menace from the source and as well deploy multinational approaches ranging from regulatory, enforcement and sensitization.
Dr Jimoh recalled that NAFDAC had recently destroyed billions of Naira worth of containers loaded with tramadol and other related hard drugs which if it had ordinarily gone into circulation would have destroyed several lives.
He also disclosed that NAFDAC had shifted from being just a mere regulatory agency of public health institutions,but now a key driver in the present transformation agenda in changing the diversification of the economy from its monopolistic dependence on oil.
Dr Jimoh who is a political Scientist added that NAFDAC is also controlling chemicals imported by the petrochemical industries into the country while the agency is now laying emphasis on the promotion and development of the Small and Medium -sized Enterprise (SME’s) as a way of jump starting the economy and announced that Nigerians consume either bottled or sachets water worth over ten billion Naira on daily basis which is being superintendent by NAFDAC.
He urged Nigerians to watch the type of food and creams they apply on their bodies as some of such items are causes of kidney failure, diabetics, cancer and hypertension stressing that most people perish because of lack of knowledge and appealed to parents to stand up to their responsibilities and not leave their parental rights to teachers in schools or guardians.