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President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the two-tier Presidential Intervention Structure on the Elimination of Drug and Substance Abuse with a call for collective action to help those enslaved by drugs to build new lives.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the Presidential Intervention Structure of the Ministerial Committee and Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse were inaugurated by the president on Monday at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.
The president noted that the challenges associated with drug abuse had become a major public health problem in the country.
He lamented that Nigeria, hitherto considered as a transit nation for illicit drugs before 2001, was now internationally recognised as a user nation.
According to him, the use and abuse of drugs by adolescents have become one of the most disturbing health related phenomena in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
The president commended his wife for demonstrating passion and commitment to the cause by galvanising the participation of First Ladies from the states through the Governors’ Wives Forum in conducting an assessment of the challenge in their respective domains, with the view to proffer measures to combat the menace.
He also said that the presidential structure at the federal level would facilitate implementation of government’s programmes and projects for effective delivery of policies, while a third level structure was proposed for the States, given the national spread of the malaise and the need for quick action at the root of the scourge.
The president revealed that State Implementation Committee (SIC) would be established in all states of the federation to complement Federal Government’s efforts nationwide.
He said that the High-Level Ministerial Steering Committee would be chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation while the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse would be chaired by retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa.
Members of the Presidential Advisory Committee include Wives of the President and the Vice-President, representatives of Governors’ Wives Forum (North and South), Nigeria Custom Service, NAFDAC, NDLEA, Police and others.