The United Nations on Tuesday revealed that Nigeria has been ranked highest in Drug Use Prevalence rate in the world with 14.3 per cent as against 5.3 per cent for the global community.
The National Programme Officer of UN Committee On Drugs and Crime, Folusho Ajayi Adelekan, made the revelation Tuesday in Abuja at a one-day sensitisation workshop on Drug Abuse and Rape organised by Christabels Initiatives and facilitated by the Senate and House of Representatives joint committees on Narcotic Drugs.
According to Adelekan, available statistics showed that there are 14.4 million drug users in Nigeria and 14.3 per cent prevalence rate.
This she explained, is higher than the global statistics of 5.3 per cent drug use prevalence rate.
She lamented that though Nigeria has five years National Drug Control Master plan, but it was not being funded operation wise.
Adelekan said: “The National Drug Control Master Plan Nigeria came up with within the last two years is not being funded adequately and the menace requires action-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, sensitisation and discipline at the home front.”
In her own contribution, a Deputy Director from 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 the country should be used in confronting the menace of drug abuse and rape in Nigeria.
Falola-Anoemuah 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 a disease like HIV/AIDS, but it can still be frontally tackled with the operational master plan used to fight HIV/AIDS in the country to the barest minimum.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. 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.
Gbajabiamila said: “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.”