The Federal Government has attributed the level of crimes and social vices in the country to the high rate of drug abuse among some Nigerian youths.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji, Lai Mohammed stated this in Asaba, Delta State while declaring open the Annual Roundtable On Cultural Orientation(ARTCO), organised by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation(NICO).
Mohammed, who was represented by the Director of International Cultural Affairs in the Ministry, Mrs. Maimunat Idula said to combat the menace, the present administration through its relevant agencies had put in place stringent measures towards discouraging youths from the illicit drug abuse and consumption
“According to the United Nations Office On Drug Control(UNODC), drug abuse by Nigerians is three times higher than the global average and statistics by the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) show that 29.4 million Nigerians abuse drugs while the law enforcement agency says 40 per cent of Nigerian youths are deeply involved in drug abuse” the Minister explained
He called for more concerted efforts towards addressing the menace which he noted has assumed an epidemic proportion.
In her remark, the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye expressed concern over the high rate of youth involvement in illicit drug abuse and consumption in the country.
Adeyeye who was represented by NAFDAC Delta State Coordinator, Mr. Jude Ndekile said the agency was collaborating with other relevant stakeholders towards combating the menace in the country.
Speaking on the theme of the Roundtable “Culture, Drug Abuse and The Future of the Nigerian Youths” the Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation(NICO), Mr. Ado Yahuza said the root cause of Nigeria’s socio-political and economic predicament is traceable to the erosion of the nation’s cultural values hence the need to ensure that children and young people are rooted and grounded in the country’s culture
Yahuza stated that NICO would continue to sensitize the youths on the need to shun immoral acts and embrace the culture of dignitary, peace, unity and national cohesion
“We must always be mindful of the fact that the youth serve as bridges between generations therefore we have the responsibility to prepare them to be responsible leaders of tomorrow’ the Executive Secretary added
In their separate goodwill messages, the representatives of Nigerian Immigration Service(NIS), Federal Fire Service(FFS), Nigeria Police Force and other stakeholders commended NICO for the roundtable
Highlights of the roundtable is paper presentation by various scholars which centered on the dangers of drug abuse in the country