Drug abuse, drug trafficking our major concern in Nigeria and west Africa—UNO

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says Nigeria, and West and Central Africa face “disruptive and destabilising” new tendencies concerning drug trafficking, drug use and different crimes.
The Government Director of UNODC, Mr Yury Fedotov, stated this whereas briefing the UN Safety Council session, presided by Côte d’Ivoire.

The briefing was the council’s first thematic assembly on ‘Drug Trafficking and its Risk to Stability, Peace and Safety’, since December 2013.

Fedotov stated the UNODC’s 2018 World Drug Report reveals that West and Central Africa, together with North African international locations, accounted for 87 per cent of pharmaceutical opioids seized globally.

The UNODC chief stated: “That is largely resulting from rising use of tramadol, an opioid painkiller that’s extensively trafficked for non-medical use within the area.

“Africa, together with Asia, additionally noticed the biggest rises in cocaine seizures, suggesting that cocaine trafficking and consumption have unfold to those markets.

“By means of UNODC AIRCOP, which works in a number of African airports, we all know that heroin seizures are on the rise throughout the area with Lagos, Accra and Cotonou airports excessive on the record, carefully adopted by Bamako, Lomé and Ouagadougou.

“Methamphetamine seizures have now virtually reached the identical degree as cocaine seizures, with Lagos and Cotonou being the primary airports involved.

“Not too long ago, an elevated variety of seizures of precursors similar to Ephedrine and Phenacetine has been recorded at each airports, which can point out the existence of recent laboratories producing psychoactive substances.’’

The pinnacle of UNODC famous growing transiting of opiates by means of West Africa en path to European and North American markets.

“UNODC is registering new alarming tendencies on drug trafficking in West and Central Africa with disruptive and destabilising results on governance, safety, financial progress and public well being,” he stated.

Drug use can also be rising throughout the area, “representing a severe menace to public well being,” based on the UN crime combating chief.

Fedotov famous that the company estimated that in 2016, there have been greater than 34 million hashish customers and 1.eight million cocaine customers in West and Central Africa.

Just one in 18 drug customers with habit points have entry to medical therapy, Fedotov regretted.

On the similar time, he stated, the area is grappling with many different crime-related safety threats, together with arms trafficking, cash laundering, human trafficking, cybercrime and maritime piracy in addition to threats posed by terrorism.

Fedotov famous that there have been robust linkages between illicit trafficking and the financing of armed teams, a incontrovertible fact that the Safety Council had recognised earlier than, together with in earlier presidential statements.

“In August 2018, the Safety Council expressed severe issues about persevering with terrorist actions of Boko Haram and different teams within the Lake Chad Basin;

“hyperlinks between illicit trafficking in wildlife and pure sources and financing of armed teams; maritime insecurity within the Gulf of Guinea and mercenary actions linked to transnational organised crime, together with trafficking in individuals, arms and medicines in addition to the smuggling of migrants,” he stated.

He burdened the necessity for “pressing and decided worldwide motion to assist and handle the specter of medication and assist pave the best way for a safer, more healthy and extra affluent West and Central Africa”.

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