Drug Abuse: A Threat to Developing Nations

Drug abuse is when you take drugs that are not legal. It is also when you use alcohol, prescription medicine, and other legal substances too much or in the wrong way. Nonetheless, drug abuse differs from addiction. Many people with drug abuse problems are able to quit or can change their unhealthy behaviour. Addiction, on the other hand, is a disease. It means one cannot stop using even when their condition causes them harm.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2019) in 2017, an estimated 271 million people worldwide aged 15–64 had used drugs at least once in the previous year (range: 201 million to 341 million). This corresponds to 5.5 per cent of the global population aged 15–64 (range: 4.1 to 6.9 per cent), representing one in every 18 people.

In 2009, the past-year prevalence of drug use globally was estimated to be lower, at 4.8 per cent. Between 2009 and 2017, the estimated number of past-year users of any drug globally changed from 210 million to 271 million, or by 30 per cent, in part as a result of global population growth (the global population aged 15–64 increased by 10 per cent). Data show a higher prevalence over time of the use of opioids in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, and in the use of cannabis in North America, South America and Asia. It should be noted, however, that any comparison of estimates over time should be undertaken with caution, given the wide uncertainty intervals of the estimates.

Over the last decade, there has been a diversification of the substances available on the drug markets. In addition to traditional plant-based substances e.g. cannabis, cocaine and heroin, in the last decade has witnessed the expansion of a dynamic market for synthetic drugs and the non-medical use of prescription medicines. More potent drugs are available and the increasing number of substances, and their potential combinations, poses a greater risk. In recent years, hundreds of NPS have been synthesized. The majority are stimulants, followed by cannabinoids and an increasing number of opioids, with unpredictable and sometimes severe negative consequences, including death. The non-medical use of pharmaceutical opioids is of increasing concern.

In North America, the use of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl (and fentanyl analogues) resulted in the continued dramatic increase in opioid overdose deaths in 2017. In other sub-regions, such as West and Central Africa and North Africa, based on seizures, the market for the non-medical use of tramadol has grown considerably. The first large-scale national drug use survey conducted in Nigeria, in 2017, found a high prevalence of the non-medical use of prescription opioids (mainly tramadol), which was second only to the use of cannabis, with a past-year prevalence of 4.7 per cent.

Recent drug use surveys in Nigeria and India: enhancing understanding of the extent of drug use in Africa and Asia and globally

National drug use surveys that were conducted in India in 2018a and Nigeria in 2017b have considerably improved understanding of the extent of drug use in these two highly populated countries. Because of their large populations, Nigeria and India exert a considerable influence over regional, as well as global, estimates of drug use. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, accounting for 38 per cent of the population aged 15‒64 in West and Central Africa and 15 per cent of the population of Africa as a whole, while 86 per cent of the population in South Asia and 30 per cent of the population in Asia reside in India.

Survey findings from India have revealed a higher prevalence of the use of opioids and opiates in Asia than previously estimated for the region. At 1.0 per cent, the past-year prevalence of the use of opioids in Asia was higher in 2017 than in 2016, when it was 0.5 per cent, representing a change of 117 per cent in the number of past-year users from 13.6 million to 29.5 million. While, at 0.7 per cent, the prevalence of the use of opiates in Asia was also estimated to be higher in 2017 than in 2016, when it was 0.4 per cent, corresponding to a change in the number of past-year users from 11.2 million to 21.7 million. Likewise, in Africa, the past-year prevalence of the use of opioids was estimated to be higher in 2017 (0.9 per cent) than in 2016 (0.3 per cent), corresponding to a change in the number of past-year users from 2.2 million to 6.1 million, or of 178 per cent.

The updated global estimates of the use of opioids and opiates reflect new information from five countries, but the main changes from previous global estimates result from the new surveys conducted in Nigeria and India. Conversely, survey findings from India and Nigeria have led to lower regional estimates of the use of amphetamines in Africa and Asia, as well as globally.

In Africa, the past-year prevalence was estimated to be lower in 2017 (0.5 per cent) than in 2016 (0.9 per cent), resulting in fewer past-year users in 2017 (3.7 million) than in 2016 (6.0 million), while in Asia the prevalence was estimated at 0.5 per cent in 2017 and 0.6 per cent in 2016, a change in the number of past-year users from 17.5 million in 2016 to 14.1 million in 2017. As for opioids and opiates, while updated information on the use of amphetamines was available for five countries, most of the change in the global estimates are the result of the surveys conducted in Nigeria and India. Estimates for the past-year prevalence of cocaine use were also lower in Africa in 2017 (0.2 per cent) than in 2016 (0.5 per cent), with correspondingly fewer past-year users estimated in 2017 (1.3 million) compared with 2016 (3.2 million). Nigeria was the only country in Africa with new or updated information on the prevalence of the use of cocaine.

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Public Presentation of the Second Edition of the Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes (2nd Ed.)

The Second Edition of the Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes was published barely a year after the publication of the 826-page First Edition on 13th April, 2017. The Second Edition was mooted due to the clamour and general interest shown by well-meaning stakeholders as to the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees that have come to be associated with the insurgency in the North East geopolitical zone of Nigeria. This necessitated the inclusion of a whole Chapter (that is Chapter 11), titled “Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment, Resettlement of IDPs, Refugees, Indigenes and Residents of Insurgency Devastated Territories and Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of their Communities.”

Another key feature of the Second Edition is the inclusion of a Reader’s Guide; Key Points to Note and; Revision Questions at the end of each chapter. It also covered the Spiritual Dimensions of Skill Acquisition. 

Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes (2nd Ed.) chronicles the author’s well over 26 years’ involvement in the training and management of Non-Militant, Restive and Ex-Militant Youths and Persons.

FROM RIGHT: The author, Dr. Irikefe Benjamin Irikefe; Representative of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; Representative of the Deputy Speaker, Nigerian House of Representatives; Representative of the Inspector General of Police; Prof. Joseph Golwa, Former Director-General, Federal Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Abuja
Dignitaries present at the unveiling of the book

Although the Second Edition of the book was unveiled at the highbrow Transcorp Hilton, Abuja on the 17th of July, 2019, the book was actually published on the 5th June, 2018. The formal unveiling was delayed due to the tight schedule of the author in several training and capacity building engagements.

The agenda setting and revolutionary nature of the book has made both pundits and specialists alike, akin the author to the “Adam Smith of Nigeria.” It can be recalled that in 1776, a Scottish Economist and Moral Philosopher, Adam Smith published his book titled “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” generally referred to by its shortened title “The Wealth of Nations.” His work is the foundation of free market economy till date.

On the whole, the Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes (2nd) has been adjudged by academics and subject matter specialists as a mentoring manual that can be used to foster peace, security and sustainable development in all climes.

The International Centre for Sustainable Development, Nigeria, published the world class book entitled “Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes.”

  • The book chronicled the author well over 26 years’ involvement in training and management of Non-Militant, Restive and Ex-Militant Youths and Persons.
  • In the second edition (unveiled in July, 2019), themes associated with the Reintegration of Civilian JTF Members, De-Radicalized Nigerian Repentant Ex-Boko-Haram Operatives, IDPs and Nigerian Refugees to enable them lead self-reliant, and productive livelihoods were equally introduced.
  • The second edition equally brought to bear a “Sambisa Joint Development Territory (SJDT)” framework to make the Sambisa Forest a security fort and an economic powerhouse for Nigeria.

Planary of the Unveiling of the Second Edition (2nd Edition) of the Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja on 17th July, 2019

Dr. Mohammad Kyari Dikwa bags Distinguished Fellow Award for Financial Management Excellence

Dr. Mohammad Kyari Dikwa, FCNA, mni, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance has been nominated a Distinguished Fellow of the International Centre for Sustainable Development, Nigeria (ICSDN).

This nomination is in line with the policy thrust, and institutional goal of the Centre of identifying, strengthening and promoting time-tested sustainable development drivers worldwide, as well as promoters of best practices in all human endeavours.

According to a letter signed by the Chairman, Awards and Honours Committee of the International Centre for Sustainable Development, Nigeria, Professor (Engr.) Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, Ph.D., COREN, and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun, Delta State, the Board of Governors of the Centre, in arriving at the nomination of Dr. Dikwa for the Award, and as part of its due diligence processes, took into cognisance his celebrated successes and achievements as well as highlight him as a self-made gentleman, a mentor par excellence and indeed a role model to the core.

This is in addition to his proven acumen in the promotion of financial prudence, distinguished originator of revolutionary ideas as exemplified in the Presidential Initiative on Continuing Audit (PICA), as well as his unparalleled contributions to financial sustainability and economic survival of the Nigerian nation.

This Award of Excellence is a direct recognition of the numerous contributions of Dr. Dikwa to the sustenance of the Nigerian economy, good governance and his proven loyalty to his fatherland.

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Future water challenges and sustainable development

The worldwide degradation of natural resources is one on the major societal challenges. Water is one of the most important resources for humankind. It is a prerequisite for life on our planet and cuts across many social, economic and environmental activities.

The United Nations defines water security as: ‘The capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of and acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability.’ (Ligtvoet W. et al, 2018)

Water Security

Water security is related to three water-related challenges: water scarcity (too little water), water pollution (dirty water) and flood risk (too much water).
In the coming decades, these challenges and their impact on people’s daily lives are expected to increase due to population growth, economic development, increased agricultural production and climate change, in turn affecting water availability, sea level rise and weather patterns.
In order to secure water resources, now and in the future,an understanding of the complexity of water-relatedchallenges and the existence of possible gaps is essential, as a basis for the development of sustainable strategies thatcan adequately reduce risks for the population, eco no mic development, ecosystems, and water associated migration and conflicts.

Link with Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015 and 2016, the world agreed on a complex set of global goals in the Paris Climate Agreement (2015), the Sustainable Development Goals (2015), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015) and the New Urban Agenda (2016). Water is linked to these global commitments in many ways. In the Paris Climate Agreement 2015, adaptation to climate change is on the level of national commitments to mitigate or combat climate change itself by reducing greenhouse gases.

Major climate adaptation challenges include water security issues with respect to increases in water scarcity, drought and flood risk, and increasing water temperatures affecting water quality and biodiversity. With its link to human health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, food production, sustainable cities and communities, and the quality of ecosystems, water is directly and indirectly also linked to many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Improving the protection against water-related disasters is also covered under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The New Urban Agenda specifically concerns the sustainable development of cities and encompasses the water-related goals that are also part of the SDGs and the Sendai Framework.

The scale of water-related deserters

Water pollution and water-related weather extremes (drought, extreme rainfall, flooding, storm surges) affect the lives of millions of people and cause billions of euros in economic damage, each year.

Each year, water-related disasters, such as drought and flooding, affect approximately 160 million people, killing about 13,500 of them. Flooding affects most of these people (106 million, annually) and causes the largest economic damage (USD 31 billion, annually). Fortunately, due to improved early warning systems and increased disaster management capacity, the number of people killed by weather-related disasters has decreased, over the last decades. Far more people are killed by other types of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as by violent conflict.


  • In 2010, around 1 billion people around the world were living in flood prone areas, potentially exposed to either river or coastal flooding. This number is projected to increase to over 1.6 billion by 2050.
  • People living in flood-prone areas 2010–2050: The Business-as-usual scenario projects a 30% increase in the number of people potentially exposed to flooding and a threefold increase in economic damage. Many more people are potentially exposed to river flooding than to coastal flooding.
  • Challenges: As urban areas expand, trillions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure, industrial plants, office buildings and homes will be increasingly at risk of flooding.
  • Risks for people are unequally distributed While the developed countries will face most of the economic damage, the majority of people at risk live in developing countries.
  • Flood risk increases mainly due to population and economic development Overall, more extreme precipitation will increase the risk of river flooding. Without additional flood protection and following the projected strong increase in economic value in flood-prone areas, the focal point of damage will shift to Asia.

Building coherent adaptation and development scenarios for the global landscapes that cover the major water and climate challenges could be an interesting start for building a shared framework for learning (what could and could not work) and measuring successes and progress in reducing water and climate-related risks in hotspot regions around the world. For more info, visit: www.pbl.nl/en/

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Nexus between food, water, energy and land

Food, water, energy and land are the main areas of concern where human development and the environment meet and where inclusive and green growth development strategies are most urgently required to ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In this section, we look at challenges in these areas, and concrete solutions to address them.

The 2030 Agenda emphasises that solutions to issues in relation to food, water, energy and land should not be considered in isolation, but by capturing synergies between the various demands for natural resources while managing trade-offs. The interrelated nature of these areas of concern is referred to as the environmental nexus. Several infographics in this section focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, as, in this strongly urbanising region, ending hunger and ensuring modern energy for all is most urgent, while also many other future challenges converge here.

Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Inclusive Green Growth (GG)

Steps involved in achieveing SDGs via GG

The interrelated nature of these areas of concern is referred to as the environmental nexus. Several infographics in this section focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, as, in this strongly urbanising region, ending hunger and ensuring modern energy for all is most urgent, while also many other future challenges converge here.

Sustainable development implies that growth is both inclusive and green. Economic growth is essential for the alleviation of poverty. Climate change, ecosystem degradation, resource depletion and biodiversity loss illustrate that current economic growth is not green. Nor is it always inclusive; persistent poverty and inequality in countries with fast growing economies are the very example that economic growth alone is not enough. The poor tend to benefit the least from economic growth, due to unequal access to assets, opportunities and decision-making processes. Distributing the benefits of economic growth thus often requires institutional change.

Stimulating Inclusive Green Growth requires that the market and governance failures underlying current non-inclusive and non-green growth pathways are adequately addressed. This implies attention for the factors causing the poorest to be excluded from economic development, and those causing the degradation and depletion of natural capital, including unregulated use of the commons, under appreciation of the value of ecosystems and ignorance of the future benefits of natural capital use.

There is a growing body of evidence of interventions that work. Often, such interventions focus either on better representation and inclusiveness, or on improved efficiency of resource use and conservation. Attention for both, including the possible trade-offs that may arise between growth, green growth and inclusive growth objectives, is required for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Opportunities for country-specific approaches to free people from hunger

  • The question of how to sustainably feed the growing global population features high on international policy agendas.
  • Hunger and malnutrition are persistent problems despite the fact that global food production levels are sufficient to feed the world population.

Undernourishment means that a person is not able to acquire enough food to meet the daily minimum dietary energy requirements over a period of one year, and hunger is defined as being chronically undernourished. Although the Millennium Development Goal to halve the number of people suffering from hunger was reached for the developing world, 795 million people were still undernourished in 2015, of which 28% live in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there are glimmers of hope.

The average food supply per capita in Sub-Saharan Africa increased between 1990 and 2010, even though the same period saw a high population growth. Importantly, Africa-wide average figures do not express the wide diversity of country-specific accounts. The differences between countries are large, ranging from an 8% drop to a 60% growth in food supply. Moreover, differences exist within countries. Even in wealthier countries, undernourishment is still prevalent, as an increase in average food supply does not necessarily mean a decrease in hunger. Additional measures beyond agronomic improvements are paramount when facing the challenge of improving food supply and food accessibility for all people. Local and international policies should take a country’s context into account.

The quality of policies and the efficiency of interventions can be improved by understanding the institutional and local context and enhancing the diagnostic capacity of governments to create inclusive policies for national priorities.

The role of off-grid electrification in rural development

In Sub-Saharan Africa, two out of every three people – more than 600 million people in total – currently do not have access to electricity.

Improving electricity access is an essential component of enhancing human development, by means of, for example, enabling greater use of technologies for irrigation and water pumping, creating employment, enhancing the conditions for study, work and leisure, and for the provision of modern health services and better educational services. Concerns about climate change should not hamper the efforts to provide universal electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa, as the impact on global greenhouse gas emissions is negligible.

As about half the population of Sub-Saharan Africa lives within 50 km of an existing electricity network, on-grid electrification is a feasible option for improving access. However, in sparsely populated rural areas, far from the electricity network, off-grid systems, which include mini-grids and stand-alone systems, can provide electricity at lower costs than the conventional grid, especially when power consumption is low.

The choice for off-grid technology strongly depends on local resource availability and electricity demand of the local community. With low household consumption levels, solar home systems are the most cost-effective off-grid electrification technology. At higher levels of consumption, mini-grids powered by solar, diesel, or small hydropower can be the most cost-effective.

Public Presentation of the First Edition of the Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes

On April, 2017, held the Public Presentation Ceremony (unveiling) of the book entitled “Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes.” Which was carried out to formally introduce the book to the global community. The unveiling held at the ambience of the Benue Hall, Abuja Internal Conference Centre, Area 11, Garki, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.

  • The event attracted a distinguished gathering of crème de la crème fellows from Nigeria, cutting across dignitaries from both the public and private sectors. Academicians, business managers, representatives of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), representatives of State Governments and some students of tertiary institutions were present in the ceremony.
  • The author, Dr. Benjamin Onoriode Irikefe, was highly commended for putting together such masterpiece for the development of human capital. The book chronicles the author’s well over 25 years involvement in the training and management of Non-militant, Restive and Ex-militant Youths and Persons.
  • The book is a world class trainer’s work tool and is recommended as a useful textbook and invaluable for government, students, institutions of higher learning, private individuals, corporate organisations who wish to better the lives of their retirees & in their corporate social responsibilities, and also to arrest the trend of unemployable graduates being produced from our tertiary institutions annually.

Meet the Book Presentation Committee

In the second edition (soon to be released in 2019), themes associated with the reintegration of Civilian JTF Members, De-Racialized Nigerian Repentant Ex-Boko-Haram Operatives, IDPs and Nigerian Refugees to enable them lead self-reliant, and productive livelihoods were equally introduced.

  • The second edition equally brought to bear a “Sambisa Joint Development Territory (SJDT)” framework to make the Sambisa Forest a security fort and an economic powerhouse for Nigeria.

Youth Training Workshops

  • Our expertise in effective Youths Training has led to this initiative.
  • We believe that our tomorrow lies today in the hand of our youths and as such we provide training to youths on how they can foster the sustainable development goals in their various fields.
Our effectiveness in delivery84%
Our efficiency76%
Our trainees' satisfaction88%

Training Hint

The process of increasing the knowledge and skills of the workforce to enable them to perform their jobs effectively.

Training is, therefore, a process whereby an individual acquires job-related skills and knowledge.

Effective training starts with a “training strategy”. The three stages of a training strategy are:

  1. Identify the skills and abilities needed by trainees.
  2. Draw up an action plan to show how investment in training and development will help meet business goals and objectives.
  3. Implement the plan, monitoring progress and training effectiveness.

Past trainings

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We educate train and motivate citizens to act in an environmentally responsible and friendly manner.

In doing this, we stimulate eco-industrial revolution by encouraging businesses around the continent to promote its environmental performances.

Sensitization on HIV/AIDS

Our Team’s visit to Kwale, Delta State was remarkable and the youths benefitted form the impact of knowledge and skill. Our commitment to Skill Transfer have been well received.

Many people are loathe to confront the issues of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual behavior. Health planners, administrators, and personnel, must, however, courageously confront such issues as they plan and implement programs to help populations in need. The sensitization and training of people who could be or are involved in health promotion/education is an ongoing process. People must consciously confront their values, norms, and attitudes on factors associated with the HIV/AIDS epidemic so that they can learn to teach others in an unbiased and nondiscriminatory manner.

At Emu-Obodeti our team had down-to-earth interactions with the Motor Cycle (Okada) Riders and they were given training that helped them to better serve the people and contribute positively to their society.

The Teachers in Obodeti Secondary Commercial School were not left out in our all inclusive advocacy for Skill Transfer and Skill Acquisition.

Trainees and persons in the community where given sensitization that HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, weakens your immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of your T-cells or CD4 cells, a key part of your immune system, that your body can’t fight infections and disease anymore. When this happens, HIV infection can lead to AIDS.

According to HIV.gov, other body fluids and waste products—like feces, nasal fluids, saliva, sweat, tears, urine, or vomit—don’t contain enough HIV to infect you, unless they have blood mixed in them and you have significant and direct contact with them.

There are very specific ways that HIV can be transmitted through body fluids.

  • During sexual contact.
  • During pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
  • As a result of injection drug use.
  • As a result of occupational exposure.
  • As a result of blood transfusion with infected blood or an organ transplant from an infected donor.

Many people who are HIV positive do not have symptoms of HIV infection. The virus can sometimes cause people to feel sick, but most of the severe symptoms and illnesses of HIV come from the opportunistic infections that attack the damaged immune system. It is also important to recognize that some symptoms of HIV are similar to common illnesses, such as the flu or respiratory infections.

Signs and symptoms commonly seen in the early stages of HIV include: Fever; Chills; Rash; Night sweats; Muscle aches; Sore throat; Fatigue; Swollen lymph nodes; Ulcers in the mouth.