MTN Nigeria, partners tackle substance abuse among youths

By Sola Ogundipe

TOWARDS curbing the rising rate of substance abuse in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria, under the Anti Substance Abuse Programme, ASAP, led a multi sectoral roundtable on the substance abuse ecosystem in Nigeria and the need for intensified collaborative action.

The forum, which held in Lagos, was part of the Lagos state activations of the ASAP aimed at reducing the incidence of substance abuse specifically among youth in Nigeria. Speaking at the forum, the Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, explained that the purpose is to stimulate discourse among thought leaders, policy makers and leaders from different walks of life.

“It’s to bring us much closer towards our goal of freeing our future leaders from the evil attraction of drugs and possible addiction to opioids.”

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who was also present, opined that education about substance abuse was essential.

“We all can take time to educate ourselves and others about the harmful nature of these substances. Education on the impact that these drug and substances of abuse have on the individual and the society as a whole should be taught and understood.”

To the youths, the State Commissioner for Youth & Social Development, Mr. Agboola Dabiri stated: “You are the future of Nigeria; you have a lot to give. When we speak of the next level, you are the next level. ”

The issue of drug abuse is no longer on the roads; it is now within our homes. I thank MTN for this opportunity and I commend them for a job well done,

“ he stated. The State activations, which started with various activities in primary and secondary schools, motor parks, and markets, will continue with an advocacy walk that will culminate in counselling sessions for all interested persons.

It was gathered that a replication of all the activities under the ASAP initiative will be carried out in Imo, Rivers, Kano and Bauchi State as well as in Abuja.

The overall objective is to take the ASAP initiative to the streets of Nigeria and meet the youth in their comfort zones, as part of MTN Nigeria’s CSR objective of improving the quality of life.

Also in attendance was Mr. Dennis Okoro, Director MTN Foundation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, the Nigeria Police Force, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) and a host of others.

MTN Nigeria continues to fulfill its CSR objective of improving the quality of life with various projects such as the What Can We Do Together Campaign, ICT and Business Skills training, upgrading of Sickle Cell and DNA laboratories and consistent support for arts and culture in Nigeria.

Source Vanguard

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How MTN impacts lives of Nigerian youths


By JILL OKEKE


In November 2016, Bloomberg reported that Nigeria had reached roughly over 182 million, “with more than half its people under 30 years of age, putting a severe strain on a nation suffering from a slowing economy and declining revenue to provide enough schools and health facilities.” Director General of the National Population Commission, Ghaji Bello, said this estimate was based on the population of 140 million recorded in the last census over a decade ago. The country has boomed from its over 45 million population in 1960, and so have the various problems that have plagued the giant of Africa.

However, the vibrancy of the young Nigerian has appeared to inflate as opposed to Nigeria’s political or economical growth. Amidst the cries for political stability and credible economic and financial infrastructure, the enduring spirit of our youth seeks to fight for survival using various avenues – entrepreneurship, entertainment, tech startups, etc. Areas with youth-focused ‘capital’ have begun thriving in spite of numerous calls for strike action, prolonged strike, increasing rate of unemployment. A report in the vanguard.com has shown that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose by 3.3 million to 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018, only.

The entrepreneurial spirit in the Nigerian youth has served as a fuel and thankfully, others within the shores have taken notice. MTN Nigeria kick started the maiden edition of its Pulse Invasion series in July 2018 at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly known as the University of Ife) where hundreds of young students were held spell bound for the five-day duration of the event. One of the biggest draws for the event was the Pulse Talk Series that had famed beauty entrepreneur, Bimpe Onakoya, and life and business strategist, Steve Harris. Students gathered in droves to listen to two people who had once been in their shoes and made it ‘out’.

Onakoya built a thriving beauty empire from scratch and pure determination. Harris was a two-time college dropout who now coaches CEOS and tycoons. They were the perfect people to get the attention of the young ones to listen and learn. An extensive Google training followed, that covered using the internet to expand the entrepreneurial footprints of the students.

By October 1st, the second edition of the year had begun in earnest at the University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River. Excitement coloured the air as impactful entrepreneurial skills was expertly served with the right doses of fun and excitement. Over the course of two months, tertiary institutions in Ogun, Delta and Kwara states received the Pulse Invasion treatment.

One of the most impressive aspects of the series has been the vastness of the fields of those who anchored the motivational sessions – Pulse Talk Series. Tech entrepreneur and co-founder at Jobberman (an online career portal from Nigeria), Opeyemi Awoyemi; Actor, film producer and director, Kunle Afolayan; Beauty entrepreneur and owner of the Tara beauty line of cosmetics, Tara Fela-Durotoye; Nkechi Founder of Aso Ebi Bella (Nigerian online wedding magazine), Nkechi ‘Ink’ Eze; Bisola Dakolo (professional photographer), and many others.


Source The Nation Online