Rehabilitated male and female drug addicts in Kano State have been empowered by the National Agriculture Land Development Authority ().
NALDA Executive Secretary, Prince Paul Ikonne, said in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday that 200 males and 300 females rehabilitated from drug addiction would get goats and cows.
The first phase of the empowerment, he said, would be completed in March, adding that 100 women already got three goats each while 200 youths got a cow per two persons.
The beneficiaries would be trained in animal husbandry and financial capacity building to enhance their ability to manage their businesses, he stated.
Ikonne explained that NALDA was collaborating with the NDLEA and an NGO, Salamah Youth Empowerment and Enlightenment Initiative to execute the empowerment.
“If beneficiaries are left without empowerment, they will revert to drug abuse.
“This is a way of keeping them out of drugs and engaging them meaningfully.
“We have empowered the first 300 beneficiaries; the remaining 200 beneficiaries will get the empowerment by March,’’ Iknone stated.
He appealed to other organisations to reach out to drug addicts to rehabilitate them while assuring that NALDA would engage them in meaningful means of income through agricultural value chains.
He explained also that those who got cows would sell them in three months and keep the profit while the capital is re-invested in buying new cows for them.
He added that monitoring of the beneficiaries would be easy as they’d transact the business of selling the cows at abattoirs under the supervision of the abattoirs’ associations.
Ikonne stated also that as the fund revolved, it would be easier to empower more people and get many more off hard substances, adding that NALDA’s primary target is abattoir-based drug-addicted youths.
“Women who got goats would rear them for between six months and one year depending on the size,’’ he said.
Ikonne added in the statement that the initiator of the NGO, Sen. Naja’tu Muhammed, Kano Central, said the intervention was the best any parastatal agency had ever done in Kano State.
“I initiated this programme with the NDLEA to rehabilitate our youths who are drug addicts.
“We realised that if we must give them hope, we must show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel by engaging them meaningfully,’’ Ikonne quoted Muhammed as having said.