The annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) was jointly launched in Nigeria on 28 February 2012 by UNODC, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the National Drug law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It focuses on the subject theme of addressing social disintegration in marginalised communities.

In his welcome remarks, the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii underlined the importance of the availability of opiod analgesics for use in the medical management of pain. This point was further strengthened by Dr. David Okello, WHO Representative, who called for a "critical balance between control of abuse on the one hand, and promoting rational use of controlled substances for medical use - as may be required in the setting of palliative care."

UNODC's Representative, Ms. Mariam Sissoko, presented key findings of the Report, including on the African region. Regional highlights of the Report show that cannabis is the most widely cultivated and abused drug in the continent. According to INCB, an estimated 3.8 to 10.4 percent of the African population aged 15 - 64 years, representing between 21.6 million and 59.1 million people abuse cannabis. Available data indicates that cannabis accounts for 64% of all drug treatment related problems in Africa.

The Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, in his key note address noted that NDLEA anti-drug operatives in the country discovered two clandestine laboratories installed for the illicit production of methamphetamine in Lagos in July 2011 and February 2012 respectively. This development, he said, is a wakeup call for strict monitoring of precursor chemicals in the country. In its recommendations to Governments of the West African region, the Board recommended vigilance with regards to the risk of amphetamine-type stimulants taking a hold in the region and the implementation of measures to address the problem.

The launch of the report was hosted by the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii and attended by stakeholders and members of the diplomatic community. For a copy of the INCB Report 2011, please visit - http://www.incb.org/incb/en/annual-report-2011.html