Godwin Obaseki

Drug abuse limits youth productivity, says Obaseki

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The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said that the abuse of drugs by youths limits their productivity.

This is as the Chairman of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. General Buba Marwa (retd.), has said that 14.3 million Nigerians, especially youths, abuse drugs.

They said these at the ‘Say No to Drugs’ seminar, as part of the second edition of Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament.

In a keynote address at the evet, Marwa noted that one out of the four drug users in Nigeria was a female.

Marwa, who was represented by his Special Adviser, Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho, said focus on the girl child and young women was strategic in the effort to curb the rising trend of drug abuse among Nigerians.

He noted that a national survey had shown that 14.3 million Nigerians, most of them overwhelmingly youths, abuse drugs while Nigeria had, exceptionally, high drug of prevalence of 14.4 per cent.

Given the severity of the situation, he said Nigeria needed to move away from old ways of tackling drug issues and adopt new measures that were effective and would deliver lasting gains.

Also, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said that the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities had heightened the cases of drug abuse in the state.

Governor Obaseki noted that a study conducted in the state had shown that drug abuse had assumed a new dimension, second to kidnapping in the rating of social vices.

“It is a crisis, not only here, but also globally. This is why we have taken it upon ourselves to make the call for collective action among different stakeholders to forge a common font to tackle the issue of drug abuse.

“The effects of drug abuse has robbed many youth of their lives, condemning them to life dependent on drugs. This limit their ability to properly function in our society and deprives the society of the much-needed human capital to drive productivity and economic growth.

“In sports, drug abuse has remained a course for concern with athletes loosing individual and group medal and honours as a result of drug related offences.

“It is a global issue that has continued to play into our sporting competition,” he added.

Obaseki, however, advocated more support of the NDLEA to tackle the incident of drug abuse in the state.

He assured people that the state was willing, ready and prepared to work with agency to deploy as much resources as required to combat the menace.

Mrs Bisi Fayemi, who spoke on behalf of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum, lauded the organiser for the initiative.

Earlier in her address, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, Chairman of the Organising Committee and First Lady of Edo State, said the tournament was conceived to discourage women and girls embarking on illegal migration.

The platform, she said, was to prove that women could earn their dollars at home building a career in football.

Source

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