africa

Dare calls for corps members involvement in fight against drug abuse


Sunday Dare, minister of youth development, has advocated for the drafting of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in the fight against drug abuse in Nigeria.

Dare, who spoke at the launch of the national drugs control master plan (NDCMP) 2021- 2025 by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said the 320,000-strong corps members that served the nation annually would be a ready army to be deployed in the fight against drug abuse.

The minister also charged the NDLEA and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to consider his proposal.

“One of the greatest problems we have seen in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is the menace of drug abuse amongst our youth,” he said.

“In different urban centres from Lagos through Port Harcourt to Kano, you just need to visit a few of the hidden rehab centres to see young men between 18 and 34 years who otherwise should be at the cutting edge of technology providing solutions to our problems and developing apps for this country but are completely almost running berserk.

“Like several other countries, Nigeria’s future is imperiled unless it does something to halt the use of illicit drugs and its devastating effect on our younger population.

“That is why the launch of this Masterplan today, the work done by various development partners is of major significance for us here as a country and for me as minister of youth and sports development.

“The issues are diverse. We talk about use of illicit drugs, we talk about sub-standard drugs but our utmost concern is how we can take our youth out of this hole they have found themselves.

“We need an army that will create awareness about the dangers and create education about alternatives. It is pertinent to fashion out a template that would from the first day they get into camp and throughout their service year turn them into foot soldiers of an army that will carry the message against illicit drugs use.”

On the predilection of some youth to illicit drug use, Dare said: “As a ministry, we have found reasons to investigate factors that include low self-esteem, peer pressure, frustration and depression as causative agents, in addition to high number of jobless youth coupled with crippling poverty, which makes sliding to drugs a way of seeking temporary reprieve.

“Government is mindful of these factors and that is why we are providing opportunities for youth to thrive, with focused programmes that we plan to upscale with a view to increasing the number of youth that we can put into entrepreneurship, support their education and give relevant digital skills training with which they can compete in a 21st century world.”

Dare also expressed the ministry’s commitment to exploring partnership with the NDLEA to enhance far-reaching impacts for the master plan that aimed to reduce the menace of drug abuse amongst youth across the country.



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