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Nigeria, Africa to witness 40% drug abuse rise among youths – UNODC

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has raised alarm that Nigeria and some African countries will witness 40 per cent rise in…

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has raised alarm that Nigeria and some African countries will witness 40 per cent rise in the population of drug users, especially the youth population, if urgent measures are not taken.

The UNODC Country Deputy Representative, Mr. Danilo Campisi, raised the alarm on Wednesday in Abuja at a press conference to kick off the week-long activities to celebrate the 2024 International Day Against Drugs and Illicit Trafficking organised by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in conjunction with other stakeholders.

He urged the government at all levels and other stakeholders in Nigeria to invest in drug use preventive measures to avoid the 40 per cent rise.

He said, “Projections show that by 2030, there will be a 40 per cent increase in the use of drugs in Africa based on the population of young people. This is extremely concerning if we consider that 2030 is only six years away.’’

Speaking earlier, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA , Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd), justified the decision of the agency to go after the assets of drug barons and traffickers as part of ongoing offensive against illicit drugs and cartels.

He said, “Our offensive action against drug cartels and traffickers, launched in January, 2021, has to date continued to yield the desired result with the arrests and prosecutions of several barons. As you are all aware, two serial traffickers got life imprisonment in court in April. Our prosecution efforts have continued to achieve successes in courts given the painstaking investigations and diligence in the prosecution of cases.’’

Speaking on the drug demand reduction efforts of the agency, the NDLEA boss said the flagship programme, War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), built on “the whole of society approach” to preventive action against drug abuse hah been a tremendous success as an effective tool of advocacy for social action and an awareness-driven vehicle for public engagement and collaboration against illicit trafficking and abuse, which he said aligns with the theme for the 2024 World Drug Day (WDD).

 

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