By Ajibola Abayomi,
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) as expressed readiness to drop anyone that test positive to drug abuse during it recruitment process while officers across the nation would be subjected to same process as well.
This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the National Public Relations officer of the Service, Deputy Comptroller Sunday James in Abuja on Thursday.
The statement confirmed that to set the stage the rid the NIS of drug abuse, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede was the first officer that was subjected to the drug test tagged “The Test Begins with me”.
Quoting the Comptroller General of the NIS, James emphatically stated that “henceforth NIS will subject its Cadet Officers and recruits to substance test before they conclude the recruitment process and sent for basic training” adding that “Anyone who tests positive will be dropped” while other officers nationwide would be tested in a continuous process.
The substance abuse test exercise was officially flagged off on Thursday through a virtual programme in Abuja by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
The minister described the event as “very apt and timely, considering the number of youths involved” as revealed by statistics from Country Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
He said that substance abuse was not just drugs but included alcoholic consumption saying though alcohol was not mentioned as drug, however he argued that it has negative effect on the productivity of its consumers.
Aregbesola while admonishing the officers to stay away from drugs noted that its intakes were harmful to human system, aiding crimes and HIV/Aids.
Speaking, Babandede, MFR, said within the framework of the statutory duties of the NIS officers were saddled with the duty of bearing arms while playing vital roles in national security.
He said it was against this backdrop that the Service desired to establish safeguards against substance abuse while ensuring a safe and healthy work environment.
The CGI said the exercise was aimed at prohibiting the possession, sale or use of harmful substances that could inhibit the capacity of the user to perform these statutory duties.
“The Test Begins with Me is strategic because it is aimed at ensuring every officer and men to be tested, owns the process, can relate with it and stays committed to it” said Babandede.
While appreciating the minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his unflinching support for the Service, the Chairman/Chief Executive of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), ably represented by the Secretary, Mr. Shedrach Haruna and the Country Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Mr. Oliver Stolpe, IOM Chief of Mission, Mr Celestine Frantz, for their virtual presence and partnership with the Service, the CGI assured that NIS was committed to ensuring that every single officer of the Service undergo this process.