Drug Abuse: Lagos building one of Africa’s largest rehab centre

•To address issues of increasing victims of drug abuse

Lagos State government, on Monday, said it is currently building a rehabilitation centre, considered to be one of the largest in Africa, to address issues of increasing victims of drug abuse in the state as the impact of drug abuse continued to assume a disturbing dimension in the country.

Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Investment, Mrs Solape Hammond, made this known at a press conference to unveil the official launch of a platform, tagged: “Lagos SDGs Youth Alliance,” designed to engage youths in productive ventures.

“There is a lot of intervention around drug abuse. We are building one of the largest rehabilitation centres in Africa currently as we speak,” she said.

Hammond lamented the effects of the increasing rate of drug abuse among youths in the country, saying the state government was much aware of the menace and had been taking proactive measures to confront the impacts on the society, assuring that it would be unrelenting in the measures.

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 to achieving the Greater Lagos Agenda and by extension the Global Sustainable Development Goals.

“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 the required support and enabling environment to thrive,” Hammond stated.

Hammond noted that Governor Sanwo-Olu had far from addressing the youth as mere beneficiaries of the 2030 Agenda, demonstrated his passion to position young people as active architects in the state’s developmental pursuits and had continued to engage them in the frameworks and processes that support implementation, follow-up and review of development initiatives.

She described the movement as a special purpose vehicle that would drive a society of resourceful youth whose potentials were to be harnessed to drive the Greater Lagos ambition by channelling their energy, education, intellect and resourcefulness towards positive engagement for a better future, adding that the efforts were to help unleash a new tribe of citizens that were committed to the common good.

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

The SA, while noting 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, which she opined would improve the efforts of the government and establish positive influence on the society.

She, therefore, charged well-meaning Lagosians, corporate institutions and other good-spirited bodies to renew their efforts towards the advancement of the society and to drive impact in achieving the SDGs in Lagos State, positing that there was a need, “If we are really serious about ’Leaving no one behind,” for a responsive approach to the voice and needs of youth by equipping them with skills, knowledge and confidence to be responsible global citizens.

Youth Social Worker, and Executive Director, Nigeria Youth SDGs Network, Joshua Alade, said the need for an 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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