We are using sports, entrepreneurship to keep youths away from drug abuse – Obaseki

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…govt enforces drug control policy in sec. schools

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is investing in sports, entrepreneurship and skills acquisition as measures to keep youths in the state away from drug abuse, cultism, kidnapping and other social vices.

The governor disclosed this at the 2019 Commemoration of the United Nations International Day against Drugs Abuse and Illicit Trafficking organised by Edo State Drug Control Committee in Benin City.

Obaseki, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. David Osifo, said the fight against illicit drugs, trafficking and abuse have far-reaching implication on the nation’s security, hence drastic actions must be taken to reduce the trend.

According to him, “We are aware that when our youths are trained in entrepreneurship and become gainfully employed, they will be less susceptible to drug abuse, cultism, restiveness and kidnapping. So we are going to keep them away from drugs and channel their energies towards sporting activities. We are building their capacities in various entrepreneurship programmes.”

The governor said the Ministry of Education has been mandated to ensure that all schools in the state have a drug control policy in place to prevent drug abuse.

The governor added that his administration supports drug control and reduction hence the setting up of the Edo State Drug Control Committee to fast-track collaboration with all stakeholders in stamping drug abuse out of Edo State.

In a lecture, a Psychiatrist from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Benin City, Dr. Arigbede Olubukola, said Nigeria’s drug prevalence rate of 14. 4 per cent was higher than the global average of 5.6 per cent.

Olubukola said research has shown that children between ages 10 to 15  are susceptible to substance abuse, advising that drugs should not be sold in places where they can be easily accessed by children.

The Edo Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Wakawa, said the creation of the Edo State Drug Control Committee was a step in the right direction as it would help to reduce the demand and supply of illicit drugs in the state.

“The committee brings together critical stakeholders in drug control to work as a team in sensitising the public on the ills of drug abuse,” he added.

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