South-West has worst prevalence of illicit drug usage – Marwa

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The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), says the South-West geopolitical zone has the worst prevalence of illicit drug usage of the six geopolitical zones.

Marwa disclosed this on Friday during the inauguration of a Behavioural Action Care Foundation Centre in Ogbomoso, Oyo State.

The behavioural centre was built by the Ogbomoso First Group, under its community initiative.

Marwa lamented the prevalence in use of illicit substances, saying the war against it must be a collective effort.

“There is no community in this country that has not suffered from this debilitating disease of drug use, drug abuse and addiction.

“We have 14.4 percent of Nigerians between the ages of 16 to 64 who are using drugs, this is three times the global average. Zonally, the South-West has the worst prevalence.

Read Also: Drug-free certificate should become criterion for marriage – NDLEA boss

“The prevalence in the South-West geo-political zone is 22.4 per cent. Oyo State in particular is 23 per cent. This is followed by the South-South with the prevalence of 16.6 per cent and the South-East 14.8 per cent.

“This is followed by the North-East with 18.6 per cent, North-West 12 per cent and North-Central 10 per cent. Kano has a prevalence of 16 per cent. This rate is very high considering its population,” he said.

The NDLEA boss said that the agency would continue to crackdown on all sources of illicit substances in Nigeria.

“We, in the NDLEA, will continue to crackdown on all sources of illicit substances in the country. We will deny their exportation, we will seize them when we find them and will destroy them,” he said.

The NDLEA chairman called on parents and other stakeholders to always demand drug-free certificate as a requisite for marriage as well as other important programmes.

He commended the Ogbomoso group and traditional rulers for their support.

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