DRUG ABUSE AND FOOD SECURITY IN NIGERIA – THISDAY Newspapers

One of the non-combatants approaches to solving insecurity in Nigeria is drug law enforcement. According to the world drug report 2022, illicit drug economy flourishes where there are conflicts, and checking the drug trade have the capacity to reduce violence. In effect, a higher usage of drug by criminals and availability of funds from illicit drug trade will expose the nation to more security challenge. When unaudited funds are available to non-state actors fueling insecurity in a place, it means the war against insecurity is far from won. To secure Nigeria, there is need to use system approach in the war against banditry and terrorism across the country.
Going through the pages of newspapers, the news of drug and substance abuse grace the pages of our national dailies at the wake of everyday. Death caused by the victims of drug abuse is alarming and the rate at which the youths who are supposed to rescue the nation and reposition her governance find solace in codeine and related diets is traumatic. According to the National survey on Drug Use released by the European Union, not less than 14.3 million Nigerians between ages 15-64 have used drug outside of medical need. The survey revealed that one in eight persons in Nigeria have suffered consequences of another person’s drug use. This level of hypnotic drug use leads to manslaughter, burglary, rape, communal violence, amongst other ones.
From the 1980s to 1999, Nigeria serves as the transit corridor for drug and illicit trafficking. Drug barons take advantage of the clean record of this region and the naivety of its law enforcement agents to traffic drug to Europe. At this period, trafficking was the only concern. While Nigeria serves as the transit corridor, the most populous black nation was popular for trafficking cannabis, cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Around this time, Nigeria was reputable for trafficking illicit drug in Asia, Europe, South America and the United States. Nigeria was allegedly indicted to be the origin of drug abuse in the West Africa.
In a data released in 2004, 925 people received treatment for drug addiction out of the population of 149 million Nigerians and the figure, according to NDLEA have risen to 155, 000 people needing urgent medical attention and approximately three million Nigerians who are suffering from drug use disorder. The Nigerian National Drug Use Survey revealed that at least 14.3 million Nigerians are into drug. This population is more than the population of Israel and Singapore combined. Nigerians are wonderful, we are one of a kind among the human race. When we are productive, we shatter barriers and break the ceiling; be it glass or concrete. And when otherwise, we set the pace. Looking at the insecurity bedeviling the nation, drugs have been well incorporated into the Jihadist movement by Boko Haram fighters across the northern Nigeria. According to NDLEA, several arrests made have proved that illicit drug is fueling insecurity across Nigeria. To secure Nigeria and ensure national security and reclaim farming communities from these marauders, Nigeria must step up its fight against proliferation of illicit drugs across the country.
Nigerians are expected to be more productive than ever. We need to enthrone a transformative leadership that will push the nation back to its rightful position among comity of nations. We must also leverage our 34 million hectares of arable land and bulging population to till the land and increase local food production.
About 70 percent

of our population are able-bodied youths. In addition to putting this population into productive use, we must save this stratum of our population from criminal recruitment.
Hammed Olaoluwa Jimoh, School of Vocational and Technical Education, Federal College of Education, Katsina
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