Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd), says members of the National Youth Service Corps should be made to undergo drug tests as they arrive the various orientation camps across the country for the compulsory one-year national service.
The NDLEA boss said that this is part of drug demand reduction efforts being made by the anti-narcotic agency.
Marwa stated this during the visit of the NYSC Director-General, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Fadah, and the Corps’ management team to the NDLEA headquarters, Abuja on Wednesday.
He presented a picture of Nigeria’s drug problem with facts and figures from the 2018 National Drug Survey, calling for collective efforts to stem this dangerous tide.
Marwa 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 these 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.”
Fadah, who spoke earlier, said the purpose of their visit was to appreciate NDLEA for its past support and also to seek further collaboration as NYSC got set to throw open gates of orientation camps all over the country.