MTN Foundation says it has invested an estimated sum of N247m in anti-substance abuse campaign and impacted 13.5 million people.
The Foundation in a statement on Monday said it set up the Anti-Substance Abuse Programme in 2018 hinged on awareness, advocacy, information and resource dissemination to curb the prevalence of substance abuse and addiction in Nigeria.
The telecom company said it held a virtual event in collaboration with partners to commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, lamented the rising rate of substance abuse and advised on policies that could be implemented.
“We need laws that will criminalise the selling of these drugs to underage children. We must institutionalise the process of drug education from primary to secondary school in a consistent and deliberate manner,” he said.
“We need a system that rewards best practices and punishes bad conduct to the maximum. The youths have a responsibility just as the government; it’s a two-way partnership,” Dare added.
In his opening remark, Chairman, MTN Foundation, Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, reiterated the need for collaboration in the fight against substance abuse.
He called for a healthier and cleaner community for Nigerians, saying this could be achieved through an alliance against drug abuse.