Marwa Wants Compulsory Drug Test For Students Of Tertiary Institutions
As part of efforts to fight the menace of drug abuse among Nigerian youths, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), wants all tertiary institutions in Nigeria to make drug integrity test an institutional policy for both new and returning students.
Gen. Marwa who made the call at the University of Abuja while launching the ‘Drug Free University Campaign’ on Wednesday, 9th February, 2022, said, “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 we’ll 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 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 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.”
Others who spoke at the ceremony include representatives of the Minister of Education, National Universities Commission, and the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’allah.