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Marwa advocates drugs integrity tests on University students

Buba Marwa, NDLEA Chairman

Eyewitness reporter

Worried by the prevalence of drug abuse among youths in the country, the  Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) has advocated for the conduct of drug integrity tests among university students in the country.

The move, he said, will stem the rising cases of drug abuse among Nigerian youths.
This was contained in a statement released by the Director, Media and Advocacy of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi.

The statement said that Gen. Marwa made the call at the University of Abuja while launching the drug-free university campaign.

According to him, the anti-drug agency boss also called for a partnership between the NDLEA and the university system that will allow the agency to set up outposts on campuses to further strengthen the authorities in fighting the scourge.

According to him, part of the measures to reduce drug use in the university is the proposed introduction of the Drug Integrity Test for both new and returning students.

 The Drug Integrity Test is anticipated to metamorphose into an anti-drug policy for all higher institutions of learning in Nigeria. It is expected that the University of Abuja, being the University of National Unity, will be the first public university in Nigeria to adopt the Drug Integrity Test for fresh and returning students of the institution.

The Drug Integrity Test is not a punitive measure; rather it is an early detection tool to ascertain an individual’s drug use status for appropriate intervention, and timely treatment and care.

This will also entail that the university will develop a drug policy and make such available to each student.
Equally important is the need to create an NDLEA outpost on the campus where well deploy our men to assist the authorities, deter drug dealers and users within the university.”

While commending the management of the University of Abuja for collaborating with NDLEA to organise the launch, he said the theme, Drug-Free University and Tertiary Institutions, is apt and timely as there is no better time than now to combat the drug challenge in the university community and among students.

He said the menace of drug use in the country is of worrisome dimension, especially among the youth population.

“The truth on the ground indicates that our society needs to do more.

“The National Drug Use and Health Survey of 2018 showed that Nigeria has a peculiar drug use prevalence.
“And it is instructive and worrisome to know that drug use was common among those aged 25-39 years, while the age of initiation was 22 years for heroin and 19 years for cannabis.
“Note that these age groups are comprised of young people who are either in secondary or tertiary institutions or are on the cusp of graduation. To simplify the report of the survey: young people are overwhelmingly the majority of drug abusers in Nigeria.
“That is a jolting reality because youths are the building blocks of every developed nation and anything that affects the youth population affects the nation. The youth population constitutes the country’s workforce and the stronger the youth of a country, the more developed that country would be.
“One, then, wonders what will become of Nigeria with about 70% youth population, if the future of its youths is ravaged by drugs.

“To aggressively reverse the trend, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, GCFR, launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign on 26th June 2021 to commemorate the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking.

 The goal of WADA is to mobilize all Nigerians, especially the youth population, for active participation in the process of ridding our society of the drug menace.

As one of the worst-hit age groups by the drug menace, Nigerian youths are critical stakeholders to the attainment of the laudable goals of WADA.

Since the launch of WADA, the Agency has initiated evidence-based prevention activities, which include focused advocacy, drug awareness campaign, sensitization, treatment and care of People Who Use Drugs (PWUD).
“We have launched a renewed campaign and intensive sensitization, targeting youths in schools at all levels as well as youths out of school” he stated.

The NDLEA boss added that some years ago, the agency opted to address the drug problem among youths by setting up in schools the Drug-Free Clubs.

 The pervasiveness and magnitude of the drug use problem have necessitated the change in the name of the club from Drug-Free Club to War Against Drug Abuse Club―WADA Club for short―to inject a renewed vibe and vigour into the club and its members.

He said the essence of the event was to officially launch the WADA Club in the University of Abuja and to formally inaugurate the War Against Drug Abuse Ambassadors (WADA Ambassadors) among the staff of the institution.

He charged the students in the spirit of true patriotism to desire and work towards a country devoid of drugs and its attendant consequences.

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Headlines

Sambo commends Bello- Koko over NPA’s revenue increase 

 

— reiterates commitment to Lekki deep seaport project
The Eyewitness reporter
The Minister of Transportation,  Engr Muazu Sambo, has lauded the efforts of Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), which he said have made the agency as one of the highest revenue-generating organs of government in the maritime industry.
Making the commendation recently during his visit to the agency, Sambo said he was impressed by the positioning of the port industry and the turn- around strides of the NPA MD in the agency which he said has caught the attention of the federal government.

The Minister, who was accompanied by the Hon. Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transportation Dr. Magdalene Ajani, some Directors and other top officials of the Ministry, stated that the Muhammadu Buhari -led administration was quite pleased with the reforms being implemented by the NPA Management in moving the nation forward, especially in view of the positive developments the sub-sector brought to the nation’s economy in line with international best practices.

“The Muhammadu Buhari- led administration was quite elated with Bello -Koko and his management team for their efforts at resuscitating and boosting the  economy,  especially the Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) which has cushioned the  effects of the  resources of the nation that have nosedived as a result of  the fall in the prices of crude oil”

Sambo also solicited further cooperation from other relevant stakeholders, while assuring them and the maritime community of the readiness of the government to provide the enabling environment and support to make the industry thrive and attract foreign investments.

” MD,  I must state that Council is happy with you and your team. I  commend you and your management team for your efforts in moving the nation forward, especially in the area of an increase in revenue generation to government coffers.
” You have done well, but I call on you to further block all other grey areas .”

Engr. Sambo further reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to ensuring that the Lekki Deep Seaport project commences operations as scheduled before the end of 2022.

According to him, the Lekki Deep Seaport and the recently approved Badagry Deep Sea Port would create an avenue for jobs for Nigerians,  encourage trade and investments and further boost revenue generation for the country.

The Minister further called on his host to ensure the full implementation of barge operations at the Ports to further facilitate the movement of goods from the seaports.

He said this would also be beneficial to the nation in the area of more jobs for those in the business of fabrication as well as reduce the cost of doing business by investors.

” We are ready to assist you in ensuring that the use of barges is fully implemented in your operations.
” We need to work the talk whilst we wait for the conclusion of other means of evacuation of boxes from the ports to cushion the effect of logistics through land transportation”

Earlier,  Bello Koko informed his guests of his management’s resolve to further position the nation’s sea ports in line with International best practices.

He appreciated the efforts of the Ministry in providing support to the Authority at all times, whilst soliciting assistance in other areas of operations.

The NPA MD assured the Minister and his team that the present management under his watch would ensure that operations of its services are further improved upon in view of the constant global competitiveness towards attaining a hub status within the sub-Sahara Africa.

Koko stated that NPA has begun the process of acquiring additional tug boats and pilot cutters for its officials to facilitate the operations.

This, he said, would further reduce vessel waiting time and attract investments to the ports.

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Headlines

Transport Minister collaborates with army, others to secure release of 23 remaining Abuja-Kaduna train attack victims

Abuja- Kaduna train attack victims

 

The Eyewitness reporter
The Minister of Transportation, Engr Muazu Sambo, has given vent to his vow to facilitate the release of the Abuja- Kaduna train attack victims when, in collaboration with other members of the seven-man Presidential  Action Committee assembled by the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General L E O Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the 23 remaining passengers held hostage by Boko Haram Terrorists following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train on 28-3-2022.
As a result of the deft negotiating skills of the members of the committee, the terrorists on Wednesday freed 23 remaining captives of the Abuja- Kaduna train attack.
This was disclosed by the Secretary of the Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee,  Professor Usman Yusuf.

Yusuf said that the hostages were released at about 4 pm on Wednesday.

He said that the committee took custody of the victims who were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists during an attack on a moving passenger train in Kaduna on March 28, 2022.

The terrorists, who attacked the AK9 Train in Kaduna, had before now released hostages piecemeal with the last release being on August 19, 2022.

“The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Nigerian Military under the leadership of the CDS who conceived and guided the operation from start to finish.
“All sister security agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation contributed immensely to this Operation.
“The unwavering support of the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari GCEFR is what made it all possible.
” Members of this Committee are grateful for the rare honour and privilege to be part of this Humanitarian Operation” declared Prof. Yusuf.
The insurgents had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers.
The unprecedented attack had attracted international and national outrage.

Distraught family members had protested several times to demand the release of their loved ones.

Worried about the situation, the Nigeria Railway Corporation temporarily suspended activities, with President Muhammadu Buhari directing security agencies to rescue the victims after he met their families.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, had said the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will not resume until all those kidnapped by bandits in March are rescued and reunited with their families.

A terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu, was on September 6, 2022, arrested in Cairo, Egypt while on his way to Saudi Arabia and returned to Nigeria the next day.

The Department of State Services had alleged that Mamu, who negotiated between terrorists and families of kidnap victims, was part of an international terrorist network and used the cover of journalism to perpetrate his deeds.

Popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to whom Mamu is an aide, had faulted the arrest of Mamu.

Gumi had asked the security agency to charge Mamu to court if it had any evidence against him, rather than keeping him in custody.

But the DSS, in its reaction, said it would not be distracted by some skewed narratives in the media and requested to be left alone to concentrate on the ongoing investigations, the outcomes of which it said have remained ‘mind boggling’.

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EyeWitness Lens

Eyewitness Lens! NPA celebrates global Customer service week(Photo)

Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko
(6 th left)), Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Adenrele S. Adesina
(5 th left)), the General Manager, SERVICOM, Shehu Musa Yaro (4 th left) and
other senior officers of the NPA during the celebration of 2022 global
Customer Service Week at the NPA headquarters in Lagos.
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko
(5 th left)), Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Adenrele S. Adesina
(6 th left)), the General Manager, SERVICOM, Shehu Musa Yaro (4th left) and
officers of the SERVICOM department during the celebration of 2022
global Customer Service Week at the NPA headquarters in Lagos.
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