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NDE blames joblessness on substance abuse


Kunle Obayan

Kunle Obayan

The consumption of illicit substances by youths has been identified as a major factor inhibiting them from getting the jobs they are qualified to do.

This was disclosed by the Acting Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Kunle Obayan at a one-day seminar organised by the Directorate in Abuja.

Speaking at the seminar, which had ‘Substance abuse: an impediment to gainful employment’, as theme, the NDE boss explained that consumption of substances among youths has been on the upward movement in the past few years and is becoming inimical to their ability to acquire skills and secure employment.

He added: “The monster, substance abuse, has crept into the Nigerian workforce, professionals, house wives, students and indeed all segments of the society thereby adversely affecting productivity and service delivery in their areas of responsibilities.”

The NDE boss lamented that the challenge of substance abuse is threatening the labour force, saying, “youths are the future of the nation are hooked on the us of illicit substances such as alcohol, sedatives, depressants, cannabis, heroin amongst others.”

He hinted that substance abuse brings about industrial losses and low productivity and creates conducive atmosphere for all manners of anti-social behaviours like armed robbery, kidnaping and sexual violence.

While adding that substance abuse leads to unfavourable environment for any form of human capital development such as skills acquisition for self employment, Obayan revealed that the Directorate is willing to widen its scope of collaboration in tackling the menace by including law enforcement agencies to set up counseling sessions on regular basis in the NDE Job Centres that are located across the states of the federation.

The NDE helmsman hinted that plans are also underway to provide hotlines as well as links on the NDE website for real-time interaction with the general public and other enquiries relating to intervention on substance abuse cases.

On his part, the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai said the state government has created a bureau to fight substance addiction with appropriate legislation and protocols for referral and treatment of persons with substance abuse issues.

The governor also submitted that now is the time for non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and other actors to work together to support the fight against mass unemployment by ensuring a drug-free youth population. In his intervention, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said substance abuse leads to crime, violence, corruption, drains financial resources that otherwise would have been used for social and economic development.

According to Ngige, even in the workplace, substance abuse has the potential to negatively affect the health, safety, productivity of employees and consequently leading to failure in the attainment of organizational goals.

The Minister added: “It is assumed that an adolescent has enough challenges in adjusting to his/her new world of transiting into adulthood. Substance abuse at this state of their development will complicate their situation by dulling their senses, distorting judgments and moral choices.”

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1 Comment
  • Stephen Onakuse

    It is sickening to read comments like the one expressed by the Acting Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Kunle Obayan. I think the reverse is the case, as the lack of job opportunities are driving people into substance abuse. Frustration, poor policy implementation and other related decay in the society is fuelling what the Acting Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Kunle Obayan enumerated as the driver of youth substance abuse.

    Can anybody provide me with data or statistics of how many jobs have been created by NDE this year – that is, if you subtract the eyesore training provided at the NYSC camps.

    Let’s face the facts, lack of government agencies such as NDE in ability to provide vocational training based on societal needs that leads to both job and entrepreneurial development are the driver of substance abuse not what the Acting Director General has opined