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Drug abuse: Lagos to open Africa’s largest rehab centre

Benjamin Omoike

Access Bank

As the impact of drug abuse continue to assume disturbing dimension in the country, the Lagos State Government (LASG), has said that it is currently building a large capacity rehabilitation centre to address issues of increasing victims of drug abuse in the State.

Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs & Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond, made the disclosure on Monday at a Press Conference to unveil the official launch of a platform, tagged “Lagos SDGs Youth Alliance”, designed to engage youths in productive ventures.

The Special Adviser who lamented the effects of the increasing rate of drug abuse among youths in the Country, said the Lagos State Government was much aware of the menace and has been taking proactive measures to confront the impacts on the society.

Mentioning that the State would be unrelenting in the measures, she said: “There is a lot of intervention around drug abuse. We are building one of the largest rehabilitation centres in Africa currently as we speak.”

According to her, the Alliance unveiled on Monday was a unique occasion aimed at amplifying and repositioning the broad tendencies of youths for common good with broad engagement with the Government.

“The birth of this lofty initiative – the Lagos SDGs Youth Alliance emerged from our conviction that youth represent formidable and potent force through which positive impact can be made in all spheres of human endeavours and where meaningful engagements with them is a prerequisite for achieving the Greater Lagos Agenda and by extension the Global Sustainable Development Goals.

“As a Government that recognises the value of collaboration and engagement, we are establishing a clear and enduring pathway for meaningful youth participation in governance and in shaping the future they so much desire while at the same time providing them with required support and enabling environment to thrive,” she said.

She mentioned that “far from addressing them as mere beneficiaries of the 2030 Agenda, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has demonstrated his passion to position young people as active architects in the State’s developmental pursuits and he has continued to engage them in the frameworks and processes that support implementation, follow-up and review of development initiatives.”

The movement, she said, was a special purpose vehicle that will drive a society of resourceful youth whose potentials “are to be harnessed to drive the Greater Lagos ambition by channelling their energy, education, intellect and resourcefulness towards positive engagement for a better future.”

According to her, the efforts was conceived towards shaping an exciting future by enabling young people to immerse in a social reality and responsibility that will help unleash a new tribe of citizens that are committed to common good.

“Certainly, we are starting a new journey and shaping an exciting future by enabling young people to immerse in a social reality and responsibility that will help unleash a new tribe of citizens that are committed to common good.

“We are poised to make this movement a special purpose vehicle that will drive a society of resourceful youth whose potentials are to be harnessed to drive the Greater Lagos ambition by channelling their energy, education, intellect and resourcefulness towards positive engagement for a better future.”

“We are determined to deepen the focus on youth-oriented approach to social change.

“Along with their drive and enthusiasm to do well, they bring a diversity of fresh perspectives and interpretations to the challenges and opportunities we all face. They remain a source of new energy and solutions to the persistent problems of our time,” she said.

Hammond who mentioned that the administration was not oblivious of the unique challenges of today’s world, said the challenge nonetheless, called for having an active and substantive engagement with “young women and men of great potential and deploying their competence into planning, articulation and implementation of development priorities will improve the efforts of the government and establish positive influence on the society.”

Speaking to the senses of youths, she said: “You are fiercely creative, incredibly innovative, amazingly resourceful and very vocal; instigators of movements that speed through our digital and physical worlds and shift culture and attitudes in a manner and pace never before seen.”

She further  encouraged “well-meaning Lagosians, corporate institutions and other good-spirited bodies to renew their efforts towards the advancement of our society and to drive impact in achieving the SDGs in Lagos State.”

“If we are really serious about ’Leaving no one behind’, we must have a responsive approach to the voice and needs of youth by equipping them with skills, knowledge and confidence to be responsible global citizens,” she said.

Youth Social Worker, and Executive Director – Nigeria Youth SDGs Network, Joshua Alade, said the need for alliance with and engagement in government “to activate the connectivity power of young people in Lagos,” was sacrosanct to giving opportunities to youths.

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