BY KAYODE ANIMASAUN
The National Youths Service Corps NYSC has called for a collaborative efforts from all stakeholders in addressing increasing rate of drug abuse and addiction among Corps members.
The NYSC coordinator in Ondo state, Mrs Victoria Ani made the call on Wednesday at the 2021 corps employers workshop in Akure, the state capital.
The theme of the workshop was ‘Optimizing the NYSC/ Corps employers Partnership for National Development in the context of the New Normal. ’
The state coordinator who expressed worries over the rate at which Corps members were involved in drug abuse, urged corps employers to assist in rehabilitating them rather than rejecting such Corps members.
At the workshop, stakeholders who attended the workshop had complained that many corps members deployed in their establishments for places of primary assignment engaged in various acts of drug abuse and smoking of weeds.
Reacting, Mrs Ani said “For the Corps members that take weeds, I need to let you that NYSC is doing so much. Many of our children are drug addicts. I am talking out of experience. When we go to camp, we start from day one to tell them that if they were into it, it was an opportunity for them to drop such habits.
In this our very last orientation, we had one that was suffering from withdrawal syndrome. We were managing this boys and he was eagerly wanting to take more.
As a matter of fact, when we are going to the orientation camp, we take so many collaborative agencies including NDLEA, counsellors, people who talk to the ones that are really into this( drug addicts).
I never knew that this TomTom, when you put it inside coca cola, it will make you high. I never knew that when they hold Lacaserra, you will think it is Lacaserra. Even Known seasoning cubes that you and me use in cooking. These children will put it inside Lacassera ,drink it and they are high.
In the scheme, we counsel them, keep talking to them every morning.
Another female corps member brought over one hundred tablets of Diazepam drugs to the camp. So the issue of drug abuse is getting alarming. Some will wake up in the midnight and be shouting , they will refuse to close their mouths till daybreak, disturbing others.
We keep telling them that if they are into drugs, they should drop it outside before entering orientation camp within three weeks and once they could achieve that, they could live a normal life.
So when you have such in your employment, please, let them become your own children, help them because so many of them are into drugs, that is the truth.”
In a message, the Director-General of NationalYouth Service Corps, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim told corps members’ employers that they have no authority to approve movement of corps members outside the state of deployment.
The DG was represented by Director, NYSC South West Area office, Mr Tunde Fadairo.
He said that employers could only approve their Letter of leave or travel to the state coordinator with only him to approve letters to travel outside the country by a corps member.
Ibrahim noted that the engagement with corps employers was pertinent to enable both parties to continually enhance capacities for effective management of corps members.
Ibrahim also called on employers to continue to carry corps members along in their respective work places with priority given to their safety.
“In the course of primary assignment,which is second phase of the service,employers are expected to make statutory welfare provisions for the corps memebers.
“Before commencement of orientation course, corps employers are expected to submit requests for corps members stating the number, discipline and other specifications that will assist the scheme in carrying out postings to places of primary assignment.
” I wish to remind you of a subsisting circular from the Federal Government,which prohibits rejection of corps members by government MDAs,” he Said.