The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has said on Monday that Nigeria faces great risks if the complex issues of production, cultivation, trafficking, sales and abuse of drugs and illicit substances are not addressed urgently.
Malami added that children from 15 years and above are already trapped in substance abuse to the detriment of their own lives and future.
Malami made this known while given his address at the launch of the National Drug Control Master Plan, NDCMP 2021-2025, at NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.
“Since the release of the findings of the National Drug Use Survey 2018, we have had to sit up and come to terms with the grim reality of drug abuse in this country. Having a drug user population of 14.3 million people (14.4%), between 15 and 64 years of age, of which one in every four drug users is female while 376,000 people are high-risk drug users, is a wake-up call for urgent action,” he said.
The AGF observed that while drug abuse and trafficking is a global problem, a more frightening reality is that Nigeria is now a “consumer country where all sorts of illicit drugs are trafficked in and out of our territories.”
Malami commended the leadership and staff of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for leading the fight against drug abuse in the country, adding that success has been achieved in the past 11 months.
“The picture is more frightening when you consider that Cannabis Sativa is being cultivated illegally in large quantities and large shipments of cocaine and heroin are coming in from South America and South-East Asia, with the production of Methamphetamine gathering momentum in the country.
“As a blueprint, this is the fourth strategic document, of a structured and coordinated approach to drug control, developed by Nigeria since 1999. The consistent development of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) speaks volumes about Nigerias commitment to continuity in her institutional framework for response to the evolving complex drug situation.
“The NDCMP 2021-2025 developed after extensive consultations with key stakeholders at the state and national levels, provides the critically needed focus in Nigerias drug control efforts, by setting out activities and measurable targets for the various government agencies involved in drug control, thereby buttressing the need for inclusive, multifaceted and concerted approach in our drug control efforts,” he added.