The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has proposed that youth corps members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) should undergo drug tests when they report for the one-year mandatory national service at the various orientation camps across the country.
Chairman and Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig-Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) made the proposal when he hosted the Director-General of NYSC, Brig-Gen Mohammed Fadah at the Commission Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.
Marwa stated that the move is part of drug demand reduction efforts of the anti-narcotic agency.
The NDLEA Chairman said the facts and figures of the national drug survey in 2018 revealed that the drug problem is prevalent in Nigeria. He, therefore, called for collective efforts to change the narrative.
According to Marwa, “There is the need for a drug test for our youth corps members as they report at the orientation camps. Once they know there’ll be a drug test at the camps, they will abstain from it. The whole essence is to ensure help gets to those who test positive early. This is part of our War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, initiative.
“Nigeria has a drug issue. We’re determined to ensure this is changed but we can’t do it alone, we need organisations like NYSC to reduce and control the demand for drugs. Nigeria has insufficient rehabilitation and counselling centres.
“We need counselling centres in the primary health care centres at the grassroots, where we don’t have enough manpower to cover and this is where the young men and women of NYSC come in. We can train them in their numbers to serve as counsellors at the grassroots level because a majority of drug users only need counselling.”
Earlier in his statement, the NYSC DG, Brig-Gen Fadah said he and his management team visited NDLEA to appreciate the anti-narcotics agency for past support of the scheme. He also asked for further collaboration as NYSC prepares to open the gates of orientation camps across the country.
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