Nigeria has recorded a decline in the quantity of illicit drugs seized from circulation within its borders, the statistics of seizures and arrests made by the nation’s anti narcotic agency has shown. Records have also showed that Edo State leads in drug abuse as revealed by quantity of seizure.
The latest crime data on drug abuse and enforcement released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that 262,934 kilograms of narcotics was seized in 2016 as against the 834,709 kilograms in 2015.
This is as 8,257 suspects were arrested last year as against 8,778 in the preceding year, according to the report.
Out of the 36 states of the federation, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Airports, Seaports and Border posts, quantity of drugs seized in Edo with a population of 4.1 million ranks highest at over 59,000 kilograms, lower than 322,272.09 kilograms intercepted in the state in 2015. A total of 269 arrests, including 50 females, were also made for drug crime in the state.
Ondo State, which recorded the highest seizure of 384,773.45 kilograms the previous year, also witnessed a sharp decline which the report gave as 27,361.93 kilograms for the year under review.
This is as the nation’s economic capital, Lagos, with a population of 12.1 million, also recorded a surge in the volume of seizure for 2016 and had 12 of its residents successfully counseled over drug abuse. A total of 16,570.43 kilograms of narcotics were seized in the Centre of Excellence compared to the 2, 882.94 kilograms for 2015.
The nation’s most populous state, Kano, recorded the highest number of arrests, 744, followed by Katsina State, 562, with Nasarawa recording the lowest arrests, 47. The number of drug cases prosecuted nationwide were 2,276, out of which 2,287 convictions were secured.
The report, however, revealed that on a case-by-case, North West Nigeria recorded the highest number totaling 2,353 and South East with the lowest put at 802. North Central and South-South geo-political zones followed with 1,494 and 1,303 respectively as South West and North East regions also recorded 1,288 and 1,017 drug cases in that order for 2016.
It also gave drug seizures at transit posts to be: Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos 729.46 kilograms; Seme Border, 4,255.07 kilograms and Tin Can, 218.40 kilograms for airports, land borders and seaports respectively.