Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), an non-governmental organisation, has urged the Federal Government to create more employment opportunities for the youth to curb the menace of drug abuse in the country.
The President of the organisation, Dr Hope Abraham, made this call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that idleness, peer pressure and naive curiosity accounted for the increasing rate of illicit drug consumption among youths in the country.
“When you are idle and you are not engaged in anything, you want to try what others are doing, and you have friends who are into drugs, you are endangering your life.
“We need to step up our efforts to introduce youth empowerment and development programmes; the rate of unemployment is alarming and an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
“That is why we are advocating the provision of employment opportunities for the youths because we know that drug can kill their vision and destroy their future,’’ he added.
Abraham said that the youths needed economic empowerment, adding that government should provide the environment that would enable them to acquire the necessary skills that would aid their efforts to be productive and self-reliant.
He attributed drug abuse among young people to frustration and called on the government to create more job opportunities for the youth, as part of designed efforts to reduce drug abuse and other social vices.
“There is need for us to be keen about youth development because we understand that many of our youths are neglected and they are not brought up well.
“All the same, we should never forget that youths are the future of our great nation, they are the hope of our future in this country.
“We should ensure that our youths are empowered; we should build them up in all ramifications because without them, we don’t have a nation.
“They are active, they are enigmatic and I know they have a dazzling future, and that is why we should all encourage them to become fulfilled in life,” he added.
Besides, Abraham said that it was a major responsibility of parents to always be there for their children, rather than leaving them to the care of nannies.
“Youths are very impatient, they want to explore themselves and if they are not positively engaged, certainly mischievous spirits and beings will engage them.
“The internet should also be used positively; parents should be conscious of what their children are doing on the internet.
“Some parents do not even know what their children are passing through emotionally, psychologically, academically,” he said.
Abraham advised parents to be closer to their children to know who their friends were, adding that such knowledge would facilitate efforts to guide and protect them from getting entangled with social vices.
He, however, appealed to the youth to make the best use of their youthful age and strive for excellence because living productive lives would be beneficial to them and the society at large.
“My advice for youths using drugs is that they should shun drug use because such negative indulgence will definitely destroy their lives,’’ he said. (NAN)