SI4DEV, Uyo location on July 13th, 2018 paid an advocacy visit to the Director (Dr. Amadi) of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Uyo office. The purpose for the advocacy visit was to get familiarize with diverse stakeholders in the State, share the report of our concluded need assessment with them and seek for their support and collaboration on the way forward to free young people in our society and community from the menace of drug abuse, alcoholism among others which rated high from the analyses of the need assessment report.

The Director, NDDC was impressed by the activities carried out so far by SI4DEV, Uyo location and other locations in the country, he highlighted that; immediately he saw our letter, one of the things that got him attracted to invite us was the name of the group ‘Strategy Innovation for Development (SI4DEV) because he believed SI4DEV will have something innovative to contribute to his ministry to achieve NDDC goals and objectives.
The Director pledged his support and collaboration of his ministry with SI4DEV, adding that; whenever there is a project, he would call on us to be part of the implementation or training. He added that; NDDC is giving out scholarships to Niger Delta indigenes to study abroad in different courses for Post Graduate, Master’s and Ph.D. He urged us to share the information among our network, should anyone indicates interest, and we should send the name of the applicant to him.
The advocacy visit was brief but very impactful that ended with a group photograph with the Director. To further describe our visit, the Director was very welcoming, open to discussions and accessible.
The team moved from NDDC office to ‘Dakkada’ office to drop a letter still on the advocacy visit to the Director, Social Investment Project (SIP) and finally to Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to drop a letter for the commandant.
On July 20th, 2018, we had an advocacy visit to Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) State Commander office at Nwaniba Road, Uyo. The newly posted State Commandant received SI4DEV team in his office along side with about five (5) head of different department in the establishment. The commandant welcomed SI4DEV team stating that; we are the first Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) to pay an advocacy visit to his office since he resumed work in Akwa Ibom State.
In his remarks, the state Commander explained the activities of Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to include but not limited to;
– Total eradication of all illicit trafficking being carried out in the /state and country at large; suppression of demand for illicit drugs and other substance abuse
– To make arrest where necessary and hand such drug abusers over to the police
– To counsel some addicts, give medical treatment where necessary and reintegrate/rehabilitate them to their families and larger society
Each departmental head took turn in sharing their activities, challenges and achievement recorded in their various units. The interesting part was the re-habilitation and re-integration of drug users to their families and the larger society. They added that; NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State Command has arrested over 235 suspected drug dealers and users and as well secured 10 convictions in the State in 2017 operation.
The Commandant assured SI4DEV team that; NDLEA will collaborate and support our activities in the area of human, materials and other resources we may require. He urged us to knock on his door at any given time for assistance relating for resource persons on enlightening the student in schools and even community programs on dangers of drugs abuse. He added that we should not only seek collaboration from government offices, we should go to individual with wills to support our intervention because though we are volunteers, SI4DEV team surely needs money to implement any intervention.
In his last remarks, he urged that SI4DEV team should keep the joint endorsed relationship in good shape and not let it die in a hurry.
The advocacy visit was very successful and encouraging.
In attendance for the advocacy were;
a) Grace Jimbo
b) Felicia Robert
c) Utibe Emah

Written by:
Felicia Robert

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