The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has asked that youth corps members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) undergo drug tests as they report for their mandatory one-year national service at various orientation camps across the country.
He said that this is part of drug demand reduction efforts of the anti-narcotic agency.
Marwa made the call when he hosted the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Fadah, who led his management team on a courtesy visit to the NDLEA headquarters on Wednesday in Abuja.
The NDLEA boss painted a picture of Nigeria’s drug problem with facts and figures from the 2018 national drug survey while calling for collective efforts to change the narrative.
He said, “There is the need for drug tests for our youth corps members as they report at the orientation camps. Once they know there will be drug tests 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 are determined to ensure this changes but we cannot 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 the 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.”
Speaking earlier, Brig. Gen. Fadah said he came on the visit to appreciate NDLEA for past support of the scheme and also ask for further collaboration as NYSC prepares to open the gates of orientation camps across the country.