In a bid to fight the menace of drug abuse and other substances by Nigerian youths, the upper legislative body, the Senate has brought together stakeholders to a round-table, to discuss on how to stem tide in the country.
Nigeria currently has a big drug abuse problem with about 3 million bottles of addictive cough syrup was being consumed in the northern part of the country.
According to the National Drug Law enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kano state has the highest number of youths engaged in drugs and substance abuse followed by Jigawa state.
‘We are here to wake the nation to the insidious threat of drug abuse, which has, for too long, been the unacknowledged enemy within for us as Nigerians. The time has come to look at enemy in the face and say – Enough’ said Bukola Saraki, President of the Senate at the roundtable in kano yesterday.
Saraki stated that few weeks ago, the senate passed a resolution on the need to check the Rising Menace of Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse in the country. “We set up two Senate committees to determine the nature of the problem and their work is on-going”
“To kick-start the process of bringing this epidemic under some control, we need to inquire into the strengths and weaknesses of the current policy and its implementation’
‘This Roundtable is expected to trigger a momentum that should resonate in individual lives, families and communities, that the drug abuse culture represents a very serious threat to lives, the economy and national security’
“The stark reality is that so many Nigerians are but shadows of their former selves. This is intolerable as is the very dangerous interplay between dirty money and drug importation, distribution and abuse. This must stop, “he said.
The Senate president said that the country need to understand the ways in which legislation and advocacy might improve and to take a frank and comprehensive look at the agencies in charge of fighting the epidemic.
‘We need to better understand where the strengths and weaknesses of our drug enforcement agencies lie, in order to be able to take remedial measures to strengthen them
‘Above all, we need to send a clear signal from Kano to all Nigerians that this epidemic must be controlled, and can be controlled. It must be emphasised that the key objective of the Roundtable is not the Roundtable itself,’ said Saraki.
Hafiz Abubakar Deputy Governor Kano State said that the record from NDLEA shows Kano has the highest number of drug and substance abuse in the Country’
‘Drugs worth over N1billion naira are awaiting destruction, this issue is beyond government alone, we must all join hands’ said Abubakar.
Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health is represented by Moshood Lawal, says Drug abuse is not only a security threat but also of Health concerns. “We do not have 50% of pharmaceutical man power to tackle these challenges we are confronted with,” said Lawal.
“NDLEA are ill equipped and this affects their operational efficiency and effectiveness. We should not shy away from funding the NDLEA” addedJoshua Lidani, Chairman Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics