From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja.
The Federal Government has announced that it has initiated the process of reviewing the National Drug Control Master Plan 2015-2019 with a focus on drug control and consumption.
President Muhammadu Buhari made this declaration on Monday at the occasion to celebrate the 2019 Children’s Day in Abuja.
The President, who was represented by FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, said the implementation of the plan would address the national drug problem, and further government through stance against drug and substance abuse, when in May 2018, it placed restriction on the use, importation, and the sale of codeine as a cough syrup without prescription.
The theme of this year’s Children’s Day celebration is “Drug Abuse among Children, Addressing the Challenge”.
He added that in furtherance of the campaign against drugs, the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Agency for Drug and Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had both produced information, education and communication materials for awareness creation nationwide.
The President similarly declared that over the next four years, his administration intends to provide the appropriate environment for children to attain their full potential, improve immunization coverage and interventions to eliminate communicable and non-communicable diseases for children as measures of reducing infant mortality.
“This Administration is very concerned about the impact of drug and substance abuse. 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 , Buhari said .
According to him, to ensure a protective and guaranteed future for children, the federal government intervened by constituting a two – tier intervention structure comprising high level ministerial committee on the elimination of drug abuse for a coordinated response towards addressing the challenges posed by drug and substance abuse among the teaming populace.
He further urged all Ministries, Departments, Agencies, civil society organizations, international partners and traditional rulers and parents to collaborate in the efforts to curb drug abuse so as to avert the consequences of the social menace and secure a better future for children and the nation.
Earlier in her keynote address , the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development , Aisha Abubakar said to ensure Nigerian children attain their potentials, the ministry had in the last one year embarked on key transformative policies and programmes to give effect to the provisions of the Child Rights Act , promote the right of the child and improve on their general well being.
Abubakar also said 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 a side to address the poor menstrual hygiene caused by lack of education , taboos, stigma and limited access to hygienic conditions and overall health social status of women and girls around the world.