Mr. Lai Muhammad who is the Nigerian minister of Information and Culture has on Tuesday reiterated that the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari is fully determined to tackle the rising menace of drug abuse which is becoming prevalent amongst Nigerian youths.
Mohammed who had made this statement in Asaba, Delta state during the opening ceremony of a two-day Annual Roundtable on Cultural Orientation, ARTCO which had been 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.
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.”