The Minister of State for Youth Development, Mr Ayodele Olawande has said plans were underway to engage more Corps Members in the fight against drug abuse and illicit consumption of other toxic substances in the country.
He said the consumption of hard drugs serves as the bane for youth restiveness and other social vices.
He disclosed this today when he paid a courtesy visit alongside the Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Dr Oliver Stolpe, to the NYSC Director General, Brigadier General YD Ahmed in his office at the National Directorate Headquarters in Abuja.
The Minister, who decried the increasing social vices especially among the youths, added that his office in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is organizing a school-based drug prevention programme that would involve the teaching of life skills to students between age twelve to sixteen years, so as to deal effectively with peer group pressure and stress-related challenges.
He stated further that the training would also entail how to engage non-violent conflict resolutions among members of the public.
He promised the full support of his Ministry for NYSC, in order to consolidate on its laudable achievements.
“There is the need to engage the youths and also task them with good initiatives.
“Efforts must be intensified to reduce drug abuse among the youths because it is the foundation of increasing rate in social vices”, the Minister said.
Also speaking during the visit, the Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Dr Oliver Stolpe, said through the programme, more than 1,200 teachers across the country who were earlier trained in the application of the method had in turn passed the training to more than 100,000 people.
He disclosed that the programme aimed to build the capacity of the Corps Members to deliver the target.
“The programme was designed to teach the teachers and deliver the life skills to the students.
“It would reduce drug abuse, alcohol, cigarettes smoking and consumption of other toxic substances in the market”, he said.
Stolpe also commended NYSC Managers for introducing Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Training into the Scheme’s Orientation Course programme, adding that every youth in the country need to acquire one skill or the other in order to enhance their personal development.
He said job creation through skills empowerment for the youths is the only panacea that can reduce unemployment.
In his remarks, the Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General YD Ahmed assured of the Scheme’s readiness to partner with the office of the Minister and United Nations Country Representative on Drugs and Crime.
He said a committee would be constituted by the NYSC, Minister’s Office and UN team to draw a blueprint for the collaboration.