The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), plans to build standard rehabilitation centre in the Federal Capital Territory to tackle drug abuse among children and youths, its Chairman, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (RTD), has said.
Abdallah made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday at the celebration of the 2017 UN Day against Drug Menace and Illicit Trafficking.
The theme of the event was “Listen first: Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grown healthy and safe.”
The chairman noted that construction of the centre became imperative to rehabilitate misguided youths.
“At the moment there is no single standard rehabilitation centre in Nigeria, even as the youths make up between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of our population and constitute the vulnerable group.
“After falling needlessly by the wayside, the youths must be rehabilitated and re-integrated into the larger society.
“It is to fill this yawning gap that NDLEA is proposing to build standard rehabilitation centre in Abuja for a start and other locations later,” he said.
Abdallah said that the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, had assured the agency that land would be made available to build the centre.
He urged Nigerians especially parents, to listen to their children and youths who were the vulnerable groups against drug abuse.
He said it was worrisome that children at age 13 already had problem using drugs.
The chairman said the development was a clarion call for parents to check the excesses of their children and protect them against corrupted minds.
“There should be deliberate and sustained efforts at educating the younger generation on drug prevention.
“Effective listening can equally address the issue of drug trafficking.
“We need to listen to traffickers and potential traffickers alike to enable us ascertain factors that move drug market, then fashion out strategies that could contain their evolving tactics and gimmickry, Abdallah said.