The Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has called for effective collaboration among relevant stakeholders to curb drug abuse and its devastating consequences in the country.
Farouq, represented by Mr. Mansur Kuliya, Acting Director, Department of Social Development in the Ministry, made the call at the Awareness Campaign against Drug and Substances Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to the Minister “The Ministry initiated the campaign in 2020 in response to the rising number of drug abusers, especially among our young generation in order to curb this menace and its effect on future leaders”.
“The abuse of alcohol and other drugs by youth results in family crisis, untimely deaths, different vices in the society and has jeopardised many aspects of family life sometimes resulting in family dysfunction and increase in drug induced crime”.
She said that the Ministry has the mandate to develop humanitarian policies and provide effective coordination of National and International interventions.
Continuing, ” the fight against drug abuse cannot work if it is not done collectively and universally, as we all have roles to play”.
“Parents, guardians, village heads, Government, Non Governmental Organisation and Civil Society Organisations have a role in preventing our children from addiction and drug abuse. And how do we do it if we don’t listen and care,” she said.
The minister said it started from the family unit, to the schools, Churches, Mosques and work places.
”It is not just about sending messages, but how do we listen, care advice, counsel and monitor the children, who they hang around with and their peers.
“Drug taking among our youths is becoming a social norm, as you can easily find them smoking cigarette, Shisha, Methamphetamine or crystal meth, codeine and others, and even go as far as posting on social media.
Dr. Dorothy Nwodo, a former director of Social Development in the Ministry, in her presentation proposed that guardiance and counselling be introduced into the curriculum of all schools in the country for proper education on the effect of drug abuse.
Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, the Director-General, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), represented by Mrs. Helen Emuze staff of NAPTIP said that Human and Drug Trafficking are organised crimes.
“A victim of human trafficking can also be used for drug trafficking. Human trafficking is rated as the third most lucrative job after drug trafficking and arms smuggling.
”As we are here for this awareness programme, I want to believe that we will go back with positive messages,’’ she said.
The event was attended by officials from National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, National Agency for Food, and Drug Administration and Control, Ministry of Health, Youth and Sports Development and other relevant stakeholders.
Principal Information Officer
For: DD (Information)
22nd December, 2021