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President Buhari speaks on drug abuse

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday said his administration was in the process of reviewing the National Drug Control Master Plan 2015-2019 with a focus on drug control and consumption.

The President, who was represented by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello spoke at the 2019 Children’s Day celebration in Abuja.

According to him, this was in addition to implementing the plan and addressing the national drug problem.

The theme of this year’s celebration is: “Drug Abuse Among Children; Addressing the Challenge”.

Buhari said the Federal Government in May 2018, placed restriction on the use, importation and the sale of codeine as a cough syrup without prescription.

He added that both National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency and the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control have developed Information, Education and Communication materials for awareness creation nationwide.

“The Federal Ministries of Women Affairs and Social Development, Education and other stakeholders are also conducting public awareness activities about the ills of drug abuse in schools and dangers of drug and substance abuse among children.

“This Administration is very concerned about the impact of drug and substance abuse.

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“As government and parents, we are desirous of building a better future for our children, because children of today are the leaders of tomorrow.

“And if we allow drugs or other ills to destroy our children today, we are destroying our future, ’’ the president said.

According to him, as one of the interventions to ensure a protective and guaranteed future for children, government constituted a two-tier intervention structure.

“This is comprising a high level Ministerial Committee on the elimination of Drug Abuse for a coordinated response in addressing the challenges posed by drug and substance abuse among the teaming populace,’’ he said.

Buhari urged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Civil Society Organisations, International partners, Religious leaders, and Traditional rulers, among others to work together to tackle drug abuse in the country.

He said that they must commit “to addressing the challenges of drug abuse so as to avert the consequences of this social menace and secure a better future for our children and the nation.’’

Earlier, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Abubakar said to ensure that Nigerian children realised their potentials, the ministry had in the last one year embarked on key transformative programmes.

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“This is to give effect to the provisions of the Child Right Act, promote the right of the child and improve on their general wellbeing.

“Most importantly, Nigeria will join other countries of the world to mark this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28.

“The menstrual hygiene day is set aside to address the poor mental hygiene caused by lack of education, persisting taboos and stigma limited access to hygienic conditions and overall health social status of women and girls around the word,’’ she said

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