14.2m Nigerians Consumed Illicit Drugs in 2018, Says NDLEA Chairman


Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

The Chairman of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Colonel Mohammad Abdullah (rtd), at the weekend said no fewer than 14.2 million Nigerians consumed illicit drugs in 2018.

Abdullah disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, at the sideline of sent-forth ceremony organised for the retiring commander of state agency Command, Mr. One Ogileg.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Femi Oloruntoba, Abdallah said: “Everybody is alarmed at the level at which drugs are abused these days.”

Making reference to United Nations statistics, the NDLEA boss said: “The recent UN drugs survey puts it that 14.2 million Nigerians consumed illicit drugs in 2018.

“This is higher than the global statistics. Globally, it is estimated that only five million people took drugs last year. Ironically and frighteningly, it means 14.2 percent of Nigerians took drugs last year.”

He stated that “what this means is that every commercial rider that you see working from 6a.m. to 10p.m. is probably high on drugs. The cultists and the kidnappers that pitch tent in the bush for criminal operations are on drugs. What it means also is that if the government fights against drug abuse, it has fought 50 percent of criminality in Nigeria.”

Abdullahi therefore urged the government to provide the equipment, fund and personnel for the war against drug abuse in order to be successful in

“What we are asking the government to do is to give us the materials, men and money to fight drug abuse in Nigeria.

“It is better to have the presence of NDLEA men in all the corners of the country, but we are short of men.

“Adequate equipment (technology) is where the world is settling today. Equipment can solve a lot of problems without human physically being there. I was opportune to experience this in China,” he said.

On the role of the society, he said “members of the society can assist the agency by providing us with useful information, and also, you don’t judge us by what you are seeing.

“You need to appreciate what we are doing with the little resources made available for us.”