Category Archives: Educational

DRUG ADDICTION/ABUSE

The topic of discourse is not a new one. Many erudite scholars and professionals have dealt deeply on the subject matter. However, because it has always been a headache to the addicts themselves, the homes, society and government, thereby constituting a big nuisance to the society on daily basis, we found it imperative to revisit the hydra-headed subject.

Drug addiction or abuse is not peculiar to any country. It is a global phenomenon. In fact ,it was reliably reported that most of these deadly drugs found their ways into   this continent, nay Nigeria through the Western world. For instance, certain evidences suggest that the cultivation of cannabis and its use as a drug was introduced into Africa from India by the SUFI sect and Asian traders and travelers probably around 16th century. Also, there was the evidence that soldiers returning from world war II were responsible for increased incidence of cannabis  abuse in West Africa particularly, in Nigeria. By the name India hemp, one would find it difficult not to concur the entry of the weed from India.

We shall try to look at various types of harmful drugs and see how they are being abused by the youths, and adults, the negative effect or damage that these drugs are having on youths, homes society and national developments. We shall also lend our voice to some prescriptions to curb the menace of drug addiction or abuse.

DEFINITION: Drug abuse or addiction can be defined as….’as excessive or inappropriate use of (psycho-active) substance by a person, such use being considered or judged  to be illegal or immoral by the culture and resulting in harm to the person or society”. A drug user is addicted to the substance fond of using when his/her body starts to need it regularly and unable to stop using it.

TYPES OF DRUGS ABUSED-Depending on the country concerned or the environment, various drugs that are being abused are as follow 🙁 but not exhaustive)-benzene, glue and petrol, cocaine, heroin, cannabis (marijuana or Indian hemp),opium, china capsule etc.

In Nigeria, the common types are cocaine, cannabis sativa, or marijuana, cough syrup, China capsule and alabukun powder. We also have some high content spirits/alcohol for consumption which some addicts soak with marijuana, dry it drink the solution and also smoke the weed. Some also inhale the alabukun powder in a bid to get high.

Research has shown that there is the increase of abuse of benzene by inhalation among the Sudanese children. Also, Kenga, Somalia, Swaziland and Zambia show abuse of glue and petrol by inhalation. In Ethiopia, Kenga, Madagascar and Somalia, the substance KHAT is chewed to get them excessively excited or intoxicated.

In Nigeria, cannabis, cough syrup, glue and lizard dung are used by students. Their excuse for the use of cannabis is to improve their academic performances and enable them to socialize or active. The truck drivers, labourers, bus conductors, load carriers at the markets, civil servants, top politicians and technocrats make use of cannabis sativa to keep themselves agile while labourers put a defense that it give them extra energy to do their work. The same with top rated artisans and musicians who indulge in these drugs in order to perform actively on stage even though some of them always deny their involvement in drugs until tested positive like the athletes using it for the pitch events. In Nigeria , another dimension to it is mixing cough syrup with water or soft drink. They sip this unsuspectingly until they begin to misbehave or become hyper active. This is common among students

HOW PEOPLE GET ADDICTED:

  1. Peer pressure-this may be from their mates either in school or environment
  2. An addicted close family friend may introduce it to his/her cousin.
  3. Wrong association or unholy gathering or parties.
  4. Get rich quickly syndrome-via introduction to unlawful or wrong kind of business as drug trafficking or being a baron across the globe.
  5. Lack of parental care or broken homes
  6. Joblessness or idleness.

NEGATIVE EFFECT OF DRUG ADDICTION

  1. Production of maladjusted citizens
  2. Constant motor accidents on highways

3.Increased rate of armed robbery and kidnapping

  1. It destroys the natural immune system that guards people against certain infections.

5.Insanity-cases abound in our psychiatric hospitals and rehabilitation centre and on the streets and corners.

6 It gives bad image to the country concerned as barons and traffickers  ae easily caught and either jailed or killed depending on the point of arrest and the law of that land.

WHAT TO DO

  1. Parents should be very close to their children.
  2. Parents should try to conduct  a background check on their children’s friends to know them intimately.

3 Schools should make use of professional counselors and psychologists to put students on the right path.

  1. Vocational skills should be introduced and intensified in schools to curb idleness.

5 Affluent in the society should impact the indigent ones to rid our society of miscreants.

6.Our motor parks, roadsides kiosks and public places should be rid of traders selling or hawking these harmful drugs. Constant raiding of these places should be intensified with sincerity of purpose and patriotism.

  1. The word of God should be exposed to the addicts as the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

WHY PAST AGRICULTURAL PROJECTS FAILED IN NIGERIA

Farming is an age old profession. The genesis of farming could be traced to the garden of Eden(in the Bible)where God put the first people on earth-Adam and Eve.It has been practised by past  generations and will continue to be by generations yet unborn. It is the most rewarding but highly neglected occupation in Nigeria.

At independence,farming was a hereditary career handed over to the son by the father.. A child followed his father to the farm and watched him did the job and learnt the rudiments of farming in the process. That was only for subsistence in nature and farming was done with crude implements -hoes and cutlasses.

INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTIFIC FARMING

Today,civilization or education has brought a lot of changes to agriculture. Science and technology have introduced mechanized farming and instead of hoes and cutlasses,mechanized devices such as tractors,mowers,and other machines  are employed to weed,cultivate and harvest farm produce. However,majority of our farmers in Nigeria still depends on the obsolete implements which are are wearisome and frustrating. Full mechanized farming is mostly practised by the elite farmers who have access to the corridor of powers and use their political leanings to monopolise the machines.

LACK OF CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES

In all Geo-political zones in Nigeria,there are suitable form of one agricultural products or the other. Now that oil has failed us,each of the state of the federation is involving and diverting attention to agriculture.Perhaps, one of the major constrains of Nigeria’s development apart from corruption in the polity can be attributed to lack of continuity of development policies on the part of the government and its indigenous development agencies..As such, numerous development programmes have suffered  still-birth owing to abandonment by successive administrations.Some of the development programmes that are now relics of history include:OFN,GREEN REVOLUTION,DFRRI,FSP,FEAP,PAP etc.

In 1970s, General Gowon’s National  Accelerated  Food Production Programme and General Obasanjo OFN both concentrated on extending cultivable areas through large scale mechanized farms which were run inefficiently. The productivity problems of Nigeria’s peasants who accounted for over 90% of total agricultural output were ignored. The Shagari administration continued this agriculture  programme but with a different tag-Green Revolution tailored towards agricultural development. What happened to it after Shagari’s era?  Total neglect for quick to get oil glut.

As mentioned above, in Nigeria,successive governments have been known to have advocated a mass return to the land on the part of the youths of this country. They have posited that the destiny of this country is with the youths going back to the farms,hence the slogan”Back to land”.  A critical examination of this reveals that the whole exercise is nothing short of delusion because it was not properly handled. No amount of television agriculture propaganda or campaign to score cheap political points will make the youths go back to the land  unless the governments take pragmatic approach  to bring  a change to the use of obsolete agricultural implements used on farms. Farming should be made as attractive  as pushing a pen. Most of the agriculture graduates are complaining of lack of patronage or discouragement in taking farming  as their professions. Only few ones are lucky to be trained by governmente lucky to be trained by governments.  Loans are difficult to come by and they still use crude implements and made to employ labourers on the farms with huge wages paid to them leaving them with little or no profits.

BENEFITS TO EXPECT FROM FARMING

There are numerous advantages in farming. Farmers get a lot of food from the farms freely which in turn will save a lot of money  that could have been spent to buy them  in the markets. Such money saved,may be used for other domestic purposes. As a professional or government, there is the opportunity to be involved in large scale farming. Produce from cash crops or arable farming can be utilized  in the country and also export to foreign countries.This will earn us foreign exchange and positively affects our GDP There will be food in abundance at affordable prices both for the rich and the poor.

SUGGESTIONS

—Efforts should be made by governments to provide enough tractors for rentage at rock bottom fees  and provide adequate seedlings for the established  and would-be farmers.

— Loans should be made available to young and willing graduate farmers who want to be involved in farming

—Farmers should not be heavily taxed as it has been the practice in the past to encourage them on the farms.

—Governments at the Federal and local levels must create a monitoring team who will see to the genuine distribution of farming implements,seedlings and even loans to the ready farmers and youths.

—-There  should be price  incentives and guaranteed profitable producer backed up by well run countrywide buying organisations for farmers who  choose to engage with them.

—-Wide Silos and other storage  facilities should be developed.

—-There should be a reduction in waste and inefficiency by governments handling the distribution of local and imported fertilizer to private organisations.

—-Some of the governments reserved lands could be leased out to farmers and young graduates .These lands are usually used for low cost housing estates which mostly are not affordable by the middle-level workers meant for because of the high prize tag on them
—-Also , the rubber plantation in the East,groundnut pyramid  in the North and Cocoa plantation in the South-West should be REVIVED.to boost our local consumption and foreign reserves.
CONCLUSION
The government should stop playing politics with farming. Farmers in Nigeria  are still poor and regarded as voiceless in the scheme of things,be it business, politics and what have you. This is not so  in advanced countries such as Ceylon,USA,India, China etc.These countries are prosperous because they take farming and farmers seriously.
The country, Nigeria is suffering in the midst of plenty because of past governments  lip service or lackadaisical attitude towards it because  of  cheap oil glut that has now back pedaled and snowballed us to square one.Nigeria should be  able to achieve self sufficiency in such produce  as: :yam,maize,cassava,beans,rice etc and even export surpluses within a reasonable period of time if some of these suggestions are taken seriously for implementation.
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HOW TO DEVELOP PEOPLE

The type of development that most of  us are familiar with is the training programme-it’s usually

away from the daily routine or job.However,nowadays, it is acknowledged that  expensive courses are not the only or even the best way of enabling people to learn. People can be empowered by development that occurs”on the job” than they would be going on courses.

The reason is that they will learn more quickly and effectively if what they are doing  is practical and immediately germane. Nonetheless, this is not to say that formal  training courses have no place in helping people to learn. You may decide that members of your team  need some conventional training to meet identified needs.

Developing people in the workplace  is useful  for the following reasons:

1.it is inexpensive , 2. easy to organize, 3.you can get involve yourself,4. it is flexible.

Experienced managers and Chief Executives of industries have found the following opportunities for development useful:

i getting people involved  in special projects,  ii Shadowing-allowing someone to follow an experienced worker  for a specified  period of time- (salesmen/marketers can make use of this),

iii. one-on-one-coaching, iv. in-house workshops, v. on-the job training by an  experienced worker-

sometimes called ‘sitting  by Nelle’, vi. delegating some of their own  tasks, vii. arranging for two people to swap jobs for a while, viii. seconding  people into  other departments,ix. suggesting that people read things- eg( technical manuals,journal articles, professional literatures, self study workbooks etc.),x. giving people the opportunity to do their line manager’s job when  he is on annual leave or sick leave, xi. asking individual member to take turns to chair team meetings,  organizing visits to other work areas- including customers and suppliers, xii-encouraging  and supporting team and individual work in the community,xiii organizing focus groups to find out what customers think-brainstorming

Depending on what you prefer,some of the above suggestions may be used but the method you  choose depends on the development need and the individual  involved.

To be continued–.

By J.A Idowu

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FINGER TEST TO SPOT HEART RISK-BY DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Checking the pulse in the finger could predict risk of heart disease, according to a new study. Researchers found that the finger’s pulse can measure stiffness in the aorta-a common risk factor for heart disease.

In the new procedure instrument called a transducer is placed on the finger or over the brachial artery,located inside the arm just beneath the elbow.

The read-out, combined with a person’s age and body mass index, lets doctors know whether the aorta has stiffened.

Currently, doctors have to record a pulse from the carotid artery in the neck and the femoral artery in the groin to check for hardened aorta.

The finger test is easier to record and almost as accurate , said the University of Iowa’s Gary Pierce, whose work in developing the procedure was reported in the American Journal of physiology-Heart and circulatory physiology.

It also works better with obese patients, where an accurate femoral pulse is difficult to record.

Professor Pierce said”The technique is more effective in that it is easy to obtain just one pulse waveform in the finger or the brachial artery.”It also can be easily obtained in the clinic during routine examinations similar to blood tests” As people can live for years without knowledge of existing cardiovascular problems, this new measurement tool is especially important, he said.

” Finding simple non-invasive methods to measure aortic pulse wave velocity in the clinic may help physicians to better inform middle-aged and older adults about their level of cardio-vascular risk”
Culled from: Daily Mail

Africa is Iridescent Rainbow-Obioma Liyel –Imoke

The initiator of the Carnival, Calabar Queen,the annual Calabar Festival, the wife of the Governor of Cross River State, Mrs Obioma Liyel-Imoke has scored Africa  high in the sphere of beauty and culture. This was revealed in a release signed by Mr. Kammonke Abam, the Director of Media, office of the First Lady,Mrs Liyel-Imoke . According to the First Lady,’’Africa has positive beauty. It is the richest and one of the most colourful continents. In fact, it God’s expression of splendor’’

Mrs Liyel-Imoke  who co-chaired at the Grand Finale  of Miss USA  Africa in Baltimore, Maryland,USA eulogised Africa as a rainbow. ‘’That is why all of us whose roots are traced to this great continent need to be very proud  of our hallowed ancestry,’’ she echoed.

‘’Iam  and will always be proud of Africa. For many of us , we have only one continent and that is Africa.

The Governor’s wife praised the organizers of the pageant for taking beauty’’ beyond ephemeral display of fleshly and curvy endowments to a deep soul searching, cultural affinity and self discovery project.’’

"Bedspring" Educates Teenage Girls on sex education

Bedspring Children and Youth Development Foundation, of recent, organized a seminar tagged Community Youth Empowerment and Development(C-YED) in Ijegun and six other neighbouring  communities under the Alimosho Local Government Council, lagos state.

The group advised teenage girls to flee  from pre-marital sex to prevent  unwanted pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases (STDS).Emphasis was placed

on reduction of female teenage mothers.

Also , the youths were enlightened on their reproductive  health, sexually transmitted infections and Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome(HIV/AIDS)

Mrs Aramide Oikelome , President of the group, said, the organization would also empower the youths by counselling and providing them with required information on the adolescent stage of life. She said , the programme was  organized to reduce teenage pregnancy and educate them on sex education. According  to Mrs  Aramide Oikelome,the programme would be continuous on adolescent reproductive age.