Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, has asked that Youth Corps members undergo drug test as they report for their mandatory one-year national service at the various orientation camps.
Marwa made the call during a courtesy visit of the Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Fadah, on Wednesday in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement signed and issued by the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, on Wednesday in Abuja,
Marwa said that the drug test was necessary as Corps members report for their mandatory one year national service at the various orientation camps across the country.
This, he said, was as part of drug demand reduction efforts of the anti-narcotic agency.
Marwa painted a picture of Nigeria’s drug problem with facts and figures from the 2018 national drug survey and called for collective efforts to change the narrative.
According to him, there is the need for drug test for our youth corps members as they report at the orientation camps.
“Once they know there will be drug test 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 is changed but we cannot do it alone, we need organisations like NYSC to reduce and control demand for drugs.
According to him, Nigeria has insufficient rehabilitation and counselling centres. We need counselling centres in the primary health care centres at the grassroots.
“This is where we do not have enough manpower to cover and this is where the young men and women of NYSC come in.
“We can train them in their numbers to serve as counsellors at the grassroots level because majority of drug users only need counselling,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Gen. Fadah said that the visit was to appreciate NDLEA for past support to the scheme.
Fadah however, asked for further collaboration as NYSC prepared to open the gates of orientation camps across the country.