By Temmy Don
Telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria, is hoping to drive campaign against drug abuse in Nigeria, with such vigour it has spread its network across the country.
To do that it hopes to leverage on the commemoration of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to open an unfiltered conversation about the increasing prevalence of drug abuse among Nigerian youths.
With the current restriction on movement, MTN will be hosting the Drug Convos, an online event on June 26, 2020 to discuss everything around drug abuse, from addiction to how first-time users get hooked.
It is partnering with a leading voice in Nigerian pop culture and entertainment for young people, Netng to reach youths in a language they can understand .
MTN is also partnering with MTV Base, Business Day, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to host the Drug Convos, which promises to be a groundbreaking online event.
MTN’s Anti Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP) was launched in December 2018 as a multi-stakeholder intervention aimed at creating awareness about drug and substance abuse, and discouraging first time users from taking the first step to possible addiction.
In 2019, MTN through ASAP visited secondary schools to have open discussions about the dangerous effects of these substances with young people who fall into the most affected demographic. A 2018 survey by NOIPolls concluded that marijuana, codeine, and alcohol are the most abused substances in Nigeria, particularly amongst teenagers and young adults aged between 15 – 29 years.