As part of efforts to empower women and discourage continuous substance abuse amongst Nigerian youths while ensuring that rehabilitated substance addicts are gainfully engaged, the National Agriculture Land Development Authority (NALDA) has empowered 500 rehabilitated drug addicts with livestock in Kano state North West Nigeria.
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The Authority working in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Salamah Youth Empowerment and Enlightenment Initiative gave out cattle and goats to 300 men and women on at the Central Abattoir, Kofarmazugal, Kano.
The beneficiaries that got one cow each for the men and three goats each for the women would also be trained on Animal husbandry and financial capacity to enhance their ability to manage the business.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony, NALDA’s Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Prince Paul Ikonne, explained that the first phase of the programme in Kano State will witness 500 rehabilitated youth and rural women being empowered.
On what makes the Kano empowerment different from the Authority’s other empowerment programmes across the country Prince Ikonne said it is the peculiarity of the targeted beneficiaries
“An organisation that has been rehabilitating children from drug is organizing them for empowerment, if they are left without empowerment, they would go back to drug taking.
And it is President Muhammadu Buhari’s interest to ensure that we reduce drug addiction and create employment in the country.
So, this is a way of keeping them away from drugs and engaging them meaningfully”
While breaking down the numbers, Ikonne said so far 300 youths have been empowered while the remaining 200 will be done in the first phase in Kano by March.
He said “This will be done in different states, and we want to encourage other organisations to reach out to these drug addicts in order to rehabilitate them and NALDA will engage them in meaningful means of income through agricultural value chains”
On supervision of the empowered men and women, he noted that since they are registered with the organisation, it makes it easier for monitoring.
“The organisation becomes our watch dogs, and the NDLEA that have rehabilitated the beneficiaries are also part of the process, that makes the monitoring easier, because there are organisations on ground working with us”
“In the next three months, they would have sold the cows and the money put in the poll, and another set of cows will be given to them, so the profit goes to them and the capital is re-invested.
That is why, doing it in a cluster with an organisation is the best.
“Now this is done in an abattoir, and inside the abattoir, they have an association, then supervised by these organisations, so it makes it easier for us to monitor.
As they keep evolving the fund, it makes it easier for us to empower more people.
And encourage more people not to go into drug.
“But for women given goats, will rare it for six months to one year depending on the size o f the goat but our key interest is on those that have been rehabilitated, that is the youths from the abattoir, they are the ones we are looking at three months.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
The initiator of Salamah Youth Empowerment and Enlightenment Initiative, Senator Naja’tu Muhammed representing Kano Central Senatorial District, while commending NALDA’s intervention said the intervention is the best any government institution have ever done in Kano.
According to her, it is not enough to only rehabilitate substance abusers but also pertinent to give them a means of livelihood.
“I have spoken a lot against this government of President Buhari but I realise that there is the need for me to also start the change I crave for.
Then I initiated this programme with the NDLEA to rehabilitate our youth who were drug addicts, but we realized that if we must give them hope, we must show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel by meaningfully engaging them”
While commending NALDA’s efforts she said “They underwent training after which I empowered them with the little fund we have, but thank God that the President has finally seen into this by introducing us to NALDA.
I must say that NALDA as far as people of Kano are concerned is the best parastatal in the country; we have never seen any parastatals in Nigeria with such direct impact on the masses”
The NDLEA commandant in Kano, Alhaji Isah Mahammed, while also commending NALDA for the initiative said it has been discovered that youth idleness is one of the major causes of drug abuse.
“Anybody that does not have a source of income will certainly look for something that would make him forget his lack of vocation and most times, they turn to drugs.
This initiative by NALDA with the support of the president and the Salamah Foundation, which has seen youths being given means of livelihood, their focus will now be on the means of survival given to them.
“With this, they would now face their business while turning away from drugs, which is why NDLEA is happy to associate with the Authority to ensure that drug abuse, is alleviated from among the youth.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr.
Alima, Adamu, who spoke in Hausa appreciated NALDA and the foundation for the initiative, saying with the cow, he can now enjoy a new lease of financial life.
He however called for more organisations to emulate the gesture as more youths need such empowerment to enable them earn a living and discard drug abuse.
NALDA Empowers 500 Rehabilitated Drug Addicts In Kano