Presidential committee mulls random drug tests for employees, students, others

Posted by Nathaniel Bivan | 22 December 2018 | 1,578 times

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• Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd)

The Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA), has said it is working on a proposal that will guide the introduction of random drug testing for employees, students and other persons suspected of using illegal drugs whether in public or private places.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Chairman of the Committee, retired Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa, said the aim of the proposed policy is not to criminalise individual drug abusers but to identify persons who may be in need of attention and help from relevant agencies of government to overcome their mental health challenges.

Recall that the Federal Ministry of Health recently said an estimated 40 million Nigerians suffer one form of mental disorder.

The Marwa-led committee comprising first lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari and wife of the Vice President, MrsDolapoOsinbajo among others, was inaugurated by President Buhari last week to advice the federal government and develop policies on how to eliminate the menace of drug abuse across the country.

Marwa decried the inadequacy of trained personnel and treatment facilities for drug-related mental disorders, saying the country had only 11 rehabilitation centres and less than 200 psychiatrists for the entire population.

Marwa stressed that the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) initiative will cascade down to the grassroots so that the people at the community levels will be sensitised and made to assume ownership of the efforts the country is making towards combating the menace.

Sourced from a Daily Trust report

Source: News Express

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