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 vices.
The governor, according to a statement issued on Thursday, disclosed this at the commemoration of the 2019 United Nations International Day against Drug 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, “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 state Ministry of Education had been mandated to ensure that all schools in the state had a drug control policy in place to prevent drug abuse.
A psychiatrist from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Benin City, Dr Arigbede Olubukola, in his lecture, said Nigeria’s drug prevalence rate of 14. 4 per cent was higher than the global average of 5.6 per cent.
The Edo State Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Buba Wakawa, said the creation of the Edo State Drug Control Committee would help to reduce the demand and supply of illicit drugs in the state.