The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has urged all tertiary institutions in Nigeria to make drug integrity test an institutional policy for students and form a partnership with the agency to curb drug abuse in schools.
The agency said the policy should apply to new and returning students, arguing that such would help the fight against drug abuse among the youth.
Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd.) said this on Wednesday at the University of Abuja while launching an anti-drug abuse initiative called ‘Drug-free University Campaign.’
Marwa said, “Part of the measures to reduce drug use in the university is the proposed introduction of the drug integrity test for both new and returning students. The drug integrity test is anticipated to metamorphose into an anti-drug policy for all higher institutions of learning in Nigeria.
“It is expected that the University of Abuja, being the ‘University of National Unity’, will be the first public University in Nigeria to adopt the drug integrity test for fresh and returning students of the institution. The Drug Integrity Test is not a punitive measure; rather it is an early detection tool to ascertain an individual’s drug use status for appropriate intervention, and timely treatment and care.
“This will also entail that the university will develop a drug policy and make such available to each student. Equally important is the need to create an NDLEA outpost on the campus where we’ll deploy our men to assist the authorities to deter drug dealers and users within the University.”
Marwa, during a visit to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in 2021 also called for integrity drug tests for students and politicians, especially those contesting for public offices.
“Running for public offices is a big responsibility. You should not be in this important assignment for the public and your head is filled up because of drugs,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.
The former Lagos military administrator added,
“The drug scourge is now an epidemic in Nigeria. The prevalence is 15 per cent; three times the global average. One in seven Nigerians takes drugs. We have found out that there is nexus between drug use and crime.”