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Nigeria has 14.3 million drug users – NDLEA

Zonal Commander, Zone ‘F’ of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), ACGN Sule Momodu, has said there are 14.3 million drug users in Nigeria.…

Zonal Commander, Zone ‘F’ of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), ACGN Sule Momodu, has said there are 14.3 million drug users in Nigeria.

According to him, the prevalence rate in Kaduna State alone is 10 per cent, ranking fourth in the North-Western states of the country, adding that the North West alone has about 3 million drug users.

He stated this while addressing pharmacists and officers of the military and other paramilitary agencies during a dialogue to stop proliferation of controlled drug in Kaduna.

He attributed proliferation of controlled drugs like tramadol and pentazocine which eventually find their ways into the hands of criminal elements, as responsible for fuelling banditry, terrorism and other crimes in Nigeria.

According to him, lack of peace and security are mitigating factors to success of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other development plans of Nigeria, while drug use remains the immediate predisposing factor for insecurity in several states across the country.

“There are 14.3 million drug users in Nigeria. the prevalence rate in Kaduna State alone is 10.0 per cent, ranking fourth in the North-Western states of the country. The North West alone has about 3 million drug users,” he said.

He recalled that when he was the NDLEA Commander in Katsina, the state governor told him that, whenever bandits took tramadol, nothing could stop them from carrying out their deadly operations.

A community pharmacist, Aliyu Jibrin, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues said, as professionals, pharmacists know the laws and ethics of drugs dispensing, as such they would not do anything capable of undermining the security of Nigeria.

He said the number of pharmacists in Nigeria is limited, saying in the whole of Kaduna they are not up to 400, yet there are thousands of drug stores in the state.

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