The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa, has said one out of every four drug users in Nigeria is a female.
Marwa said this in Benin, Edo State Capital, at a seminar “Combating Drug Trafficking and Providing Care for Victims of Drug Abuse
as part of the programme in the ongoing Betsy Obaseki football tournament.
Represented by his special adviser, Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho, he said ” the focus on the Girl Child and young women is strategic in the effort to curb the rising trend of drug abuse among Nigerians”.
“From the National Drug Use and Health Survey, one of four drug users in Nigeria is female. There is more profound evidence on social media where users upload videos of themselves, a significant number of whom are young girls, abusing various types of drugs including cannabis and methamphetamine”.
He said the agency surveillance shows that majority of club goers who are young women, regularly come in contact and use drugs, adding that those involved in anti-social activities like prostitution or commercial sex work use stimulant drug as tools for their occupation.
He explained that the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 14.3million Nigerians, most of them overwhelmingly youths abuse drugs while Nigeria has exceptionally high drug prevalence of 14.4 percent
On his part, Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, blamed heightened cases of drug abuse on the ongoing strike embarked on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
He said the study conducted in the state had shown that drug abuse has assumed a new dimension and, second to kidnapping in the rating of social vices.
“Drug abuse is a crisis that the state has taken upon to make call for collective action to tackle. It is a crisis, not only here, but also globally. The adverse effects of drug abuse has robbed many youths of their lives, condemning them to life dependent on drugs.”
He said the development limits their abilities to properly function in our society and deprives the society of the much needed human capital to drive productivity and economic growth.
“While some may argue that this issue is not directed applied to us in Nigeria, we are reminded that Nigeria risks loosing one of the medals won in the just concluded Commonwealth Games on the account of suspicion of prohibited drugs,” he said.
He however however, advocated more support of the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to tackle the incident of drugs abuse in the state.
Also, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, who spoke on behalf of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum lauded the organiser for the initiative.
Earlier, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, said the tournament was conceived to discourage women and girls embarking on illegal migration.
The platform, she said, was to prove that women could earn their dollars at home if building a career in football.