No fewer than one million killer and fake patent medicine stores exist across Nigeria, the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drugs Abuse, retired Gen. Buba Marwa, said on Monday in Yola.
Marwa who disclosed this during a courtesy visit to Gov. Muhammadu Bindow of Adamawa, said the development was posing a great danger to the lives of over 180 million Nigerians.
”So far, there are over one million unregistered and killer patent medicine stores across Nigeria. Also only about 58,000 of such stores are registered in 36 states and Abuja,” Marwa said.
He expressed worries that the rate of drugs abuse in all parts of Nigeria was on the increase, adding that there was need for holistic joint efforts to eliminate the menace.
Marwa noted that about 15 million adult Nigerians were under drugs and that the Southwest zone topped the record in Nigeria with a total of 22 per cent, followed by the Southsouth zone with 17 per cent, Southeast 15 per cent and Northeast 13 .8 per cent.
Others were the Northwest, 13.4 per cent and North Central zone with the least figure of 8 per cent.
He urged state governments in the country to establish permanent and standard rehabilitation centres to take care of the high number of drug addicts requiring help.
According to the committee chairman, they are in the state for a three -days stakeholders meeting.
Responding, Gov. Bindow, represented by the acting governor, Martins Babale, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for constituting the advisory committee.
Babale advised that a state of emergency be declared on drug abuse in the country.
He noted that the drug abuse situation in Nigeria was alarming and had reached a horrible stage that needed holistic approach to contain.