Nigerian Aviation

By Festus Ahon

ASABA-MINISTER of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Muhammad, Tuesday, said President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to tackle the rising menace of drug abuse prevalent amongst Nigerian youths.

Mohammed who stated this in Asaba, Delta state during the opening ceremony of a two-day Annual Roundtable on Cultural Orientation, ARTCO, organised by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation, NICO, said the Federal Government is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that it wins the war against drug abuse in Nigeria.

The Minister who was represented by the Director, International Cultural Relations, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Memunat Idu-lah, said President Muhammadu Buhari was fully aware of the high prevalence of drug abuse especially among Nigerian youths.

Saying urgent measures have been taken to address the menace, he commended the Executive Secretary and Management of the NICO for initiating the roundtable and for keeping faith with its diligent implementation over the years.

He said the focus of this year’s edition with theme, “Culture, Drug Abuse and the Future of the Nigerian Youth”, brings to the fore a number of critical issues which should be taken seriously at all levels.

He appealed to relevant stakeholders such as parents, religious bodies, civil society organizations, media and others to play their role in educating the youths about the consequences of drug abuse.

In his welcome address, Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of NICO, Mr Mohammed Yahuza disclosed that 40% of Nigerian youth were deeply enforced in drug abuse.

He said; “according to the United Nations Office on Drug Control (UNODC), drug abuse by Nigerians is three times higher than the glo average. Statistics by the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) show that 29.4million Nigerians abuse drugs.

“ARTCO is one of the core programmes of the Institute designed to bring together various interest groups, relevant stakeholders, researchers and scholars to deliberate and exchange views on critical and topical issues from the cultural perspective. It is our hope that recommendations from the programme would influence government policies and programmes.”

In his remarks, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, called for reorientation and sensitization of the Nigerian youths against drug abuse.

Okowa said; “If we don’t do anything about it now, if we don’t started this reorientation now everything will blow up in our faces. So it is timely, we all need to key into it. It is time to do something about it, not just talk about it.

“This is just one of the approach to tackle it. We need to adopt so many approach, we go to the schools, secondary schools, higher institutions, put it into drama, act it up and implement it.”

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