The NDLEA chairman said this on Tuesday, at the launch of the ‘West African Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (WENDU) Report of Statistics and Trends on Illicit Drug Use and Supply 2018-2019’.
According to a statement by Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesman, Marwa said the use of illicit drugs has increased globally, and expressed concern over the the use of West Africa as a hub for transporting cocaine from South America and East Asia.
“Drug use around the world has been on the increase in terms of the overall number as well as the proportion of the world’s population that use drugs. The continuous increase in the types of new psychoactive substances being discovered globally is also worrisome. According to the World Drug Report 2020, in 2018, an estimated 269 million people representing 5.3 per cent of the global population was reported to have used drugs as against 210 million in 2009 representing 4.8 per cent,” he said.
“The West Africa Sub Region is in the limelight at the international scene because of its role as a transit hub for cocaine from South America and heroin from East Asia to Europe, as well as its heightened tramadol, codeine and cannabis use.
“Furthermore, going by the projection of demographic factors, by 2030, the number of people using drugs is expected to rise by 11 per cent around the world and as much as 40 per cent in Africa alone.
“The role of credible data in addressing the world drug problem cannot be overemphasised. The West African States just like the rest of Africa have been grappling with the problem of dearth of credible data on the trend of drug use in the sub-region.”
He, however, gave the assurance that Nigeria will “continue to play its role to support the sustainability of WENDU by continuously providing credible data through its National Sentinel Network; the Nigerian Epidemiological Network on Drug Use”.