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14.3 Million Nigerians Abuse Cocaine, Tramadol, Others – FG



  • 14.3 Million Nigerians Abuse Cocaine, Tramadol, Others – FG

The report on the first-ever National Survey on Drug Use in Nigeria, which was presented by the Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja, has shown that 14.3 million people, representing approximately 14.4 per cent of the country’s population (between age 15 and 64), abused drug substances in the past one year.

The project, which was supported by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, and the European Union, was carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics and Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse as part of a large-scale project being implemented in Nigeria under the 10th European Development Fund Modality.

According to the survey, 10.6 million Nigerians abused cannabis in 2018 while 4.6 million abused opiods. The report said that 2.4 million youths and adults also abused cough syrups with 92,000 more using cocaine. Other drugs commonly abused during the period are tranquilizers and sedatives, solvent, inhalers, amphetamines and prescription stimulants.

The survey said that the prevalence of the menace was more pronounced in the South-West geo-political zone with 22.4 per cent or 4.3 million users. Oyo and Lagos states lead in the zone. The South-South came second in the list, while the South-East, with 1.55 million users, came third. The North-Central, with 10 per cent or 1.5 million users, was ranked lowest.

The Director, Department for Operations at UNODC, Miwa Kato, stated at the occasion that the survey illustrated the problem of drug use and dependence in Nigeria, as well as the lack of services to address the issues. She added that the report was also staggering.

She said, “I believe the findings of the survey will be a wake-up call for us and international actors involved in the drug response that the problem is serious and the business-as-usual approach will not work to address this growing threat to Nigeria’s well-being and stability.

“The number of past year drug users in Nigeria is considerably high by international standards at approximately 14.3 million people. That means that the prevalence of past year drug use in Nigeria is more than twice the global average of 5.6 per cent. The report also shines the light on the alarming prevalence of prescription opioids, mainly tramadol and cough syrups, for non-medical purposes. The extent of the problem is such that it cannot be addressed alone by any single entity within the government or by the government alone.”

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, in his address, said the findings were striking and alarming.

He said, “People Who Inject Drugs constitute a sizeable proportion of high risk drug users with pharmaceutical opioids, followed by cocaine and heroin as the commonly injected drugs. Drug treatment facilities and services in the country are insufficient and there is a disturbing level of non-medical use of prescription opioids, such as tramadol and codeine or dextromethorphan containing cough syrup.”

The minister said that, in order to check the trend, the Federal Government in 2018 inaugurated the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse and the Ministerial Committee on The Elimination of Drug Abuse.

The Chairman of PACEDA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd), said that the factors leading to drug use and abuse included experimental curiosity, peer and parental influences, socio-economic conditions and extra energy required by youths who engaged in hard and prolonged labour at early ages. He added that the survey report would assist PACEDA in its work while stating its readiness to collaborate with UNODC in structuring the fight against drug abuse.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Nigeria, Morocco sign MOUs on Hydrocarbons, Others




The Federal Government and the Kingdom of Morocco have signed five strategic Memoranda of Understanding that will foster Nigerian-Morocco bilateral collaboration and promote the development of hydrocarbons, agriculture, and commerce in both countries.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, led the Nigerian delegation to the agreement signing ceremony on Tuesday at Marrakech, Morocco, while the Chief Executive Officer of OCP Africa, Mr Anouar Jamali, signed for the Kingdom of Morocco, according to a statement by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

Under the agreement between OCP, NSIA and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria will import phosphate from the Kingdom of Morocco and use it to produce blended fertiliser for the local market and export.

The statement said Nigeria would also produce ammonia and export to Morocco.

“As part of the project, the Nigerian Government plans to establish an ammonia plant at Akwa Ibom State,” it said.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, and the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, were part of the delegation and they confirmed that their organisations would take equity in the ammonia plant when the Final Investment Decision would be taken, the statement said.

Sylva said the project would broaden economic opportunities for the two nations and improve the wellbeing of the people.

He added that the project would also positively impact agriculture, stimulate the growth of gas-based industries and lead to massive job creation.

He said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had mandated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and it agencies and other government agencies to give maximum support for the project.

“He mandated me to ensure that at least the first phase of this project is commissioned before the expiration of his second term in office in 2023,” he added.

According to the statement, the MOUs were for the support of the second phase of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative; Shareholders Agreement for the creation of the joint venture company to develop the multipurpose industrial platform and MOU for equity investment by the NNPC in the joint venture and support of the gas.

Other agreements are term sheet for gas sales and aggregation agreement and MOU for land acquisition and administrative facilitation to the establishment of the multipurpose industrial platform for gas sales and aggregation agreement.

The NCDMB boss described the bilateral agreement as significant to the Nigerian economy as it would accelerate Nigeria’s gas monetisation programme through establishment of the ammonia plant in the country.

The agreement would also improve Nigeria’s per capita fertiliser application through importation of phosphate derivatives from Morocco, he added.

Wabote challenged the relevant parties to focus on accelerating the FID, assuring them that the NCDMB would take equity investment for long-term sustainability of the project.

He canvassed for the setting up of a project management oversight structure to ensure project requirements and timelines are met.

“There is also need to determine manpower needs for construction and operations phase of the project and develop training programmes that will create the workforce pool from Nigeria and Morocco and design collaboration framework between research centres in Nigeria and Morocco to develop technology solutions for maintaining the ISBL and OSBL units of the Ammonia complex,” he said.

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Dangote Fertiliser Plant to Commence Shipment of Urea in March 2021



Dangote to Sells Petrol in Naira, Plans to Commence Urea Shipment in March 2021

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said Dangote Fertiliser Plant will commence shipment of Urea in March 2021.

The CBN governor disclosed this during an inspection tour of the sites of Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals Complex Fertiliser Plant and Subsea Gas Pipeline at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.

Emefiele further stated that Dangote Refinery would sell refined petroleum products in Naira when it starts production.

This he said would save the country from spending 41 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange on importation of petroleum products yearly.

Based on agreement and discussions with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the oil companies, the Dangote Refinery can buy its crude in naira, refine it, and produce it for Nigerians’ use in naira,” Mr Emefiele said.

That is the element where foreign exchange is saved for the country becomes very clear. We are also very optimistic that by refining this product here in Nigeria, all those costs associated with either demurrage from import, costs associated with freight will be totally eliminated.

Emefiele explained that this will make the price of Nigeria’s petroleum products affordable and cheaper in naira.

If we are lucky that what the refinery produces is more than we need locally you will see Nigerian businessmen buying small vessels to take them to our West African neighbours to sell to them in naira.

“This will increase our volume in naira and help to push it into the Economic Community of West African States as a currency,” Mr Emefiele said.

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UK Budget 2021: Will Sunak’s Budget Run Into Unintended Consequences?



UK EConomy contracts

Rishi Sunak’s Budget will encourage higher earners to consider their “international financial options” and will drive businesses away from the UK, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organizations.

The warning from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as the Chancellor delivered his 2021 Budget in the House of Commons, his second since he took on the role.

Mr Green says: “The Chancellor has got an extraordinarily difficult hand to play as he tries to stem the economic damage caused by the pandemic, support jobs and businesses and, crucially, rebuild the public finances.

“Whilst Mr Sunak is being hailed a hero for the continued and unprecedented levels of support, it should also be remembered that he is – in a stealth move – dragging more people firmly into the tax net.

“He is raising taxes under the radar.

“Yes, there is no income tax rise. However, he is freezing personal tax thresholds, meaning as incomes rise and thresholds don’t, he is able to raise money by fiscal drag.”

Earlier this week, the deVere CEO noted: “Those most impacted by this stealth move will be looking at the financial planning options available to them, including international options, in order to grow and protect their wealth.”

Rishi Sunak also confirmed that corporation tax will increase to 25% from 2023, up from the current level of 19%.

Of this tax hike, Mr Green goes on to say: “Lower corporation tax helps job and wealth-creating business to survive and thrive. It also helps attract business to move and invest in the country.

“Instead of increasing taxes, Mr Sunak should have relentlessly focussed on growth and stimulus policies for businesses.  This would have been of greater help to firms, the economy, jobs and, ultimately, the Treasury’s coffers.”

He adds: “Again, this corporation tax hike is likely to serve as a prompt for businesses to consider their overseas financial options.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “The Chancellor had to perform a tough juggling act.  But stealthily dragging more people into the tax net and raising corporation tax might have negative, unintended consequences for the Treasury’s bottom line.”

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