Nasarawa varsity to establish psychological service centre




Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), has concluded arrangement to establish a psychological service centre to tackle the challenges arising from drug addiction.

Head of Department (HOD) of Psychology, Dr. Lawrence Orkuugh, disclosed this when interacting with journalists in his office.

Orkuugh reiterated that the establishment of the centre is in line with National Universities Commission (NUC) benchmark. He said the centre would be the third of its kind in northern region.  He further maintained that psychological service centre, if established, shall solve cases of drug addiction,  mental illnesses and address psychological problems within university community and its environs.

He said that the department had identified the infrastructural needs for the establishment of the centre, which would accommodate areas of specialty such as Forensic Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Laboratory/Clinical Psychology, Industrial/Organisational Psychology, Counseling Offices and Testing Room.  Also the complex will accommodate other professional areas as Psychology Library, Psychological Relaxation Room, Conference Hall, among others.

Orkuugh appealed to the university management to make provision for funds mainly for research in the department, extension of wireless ICT system to the faculty of Social Sciences as well as office apartments for junior and senior lecturers. Others requirements are the supply of equipment  in Psychology laboratory. However, he expressed gratitude to NSUK vice chancellor, Professor Bala Muhammed, for appointing one of their own, Professor Andrew Zamani, as director, Quality Assurance and member of the university governing council.

On April 14, 2019, Department of Psychology, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, in collaboration with Sri Lanka, organised a professional training in drug abuse to proffer solution to the issues concerning drug addiction in the country.

At the training, it was identified that Nigeria has a prevalence of cannabis use at an estimated rate of 14 per cent, and the same for drugs like cocaine, amphetamines and opiates. Through the statistics, it was discovered that Nigeria is hosting over 500, 000 heroin as from 1999.

However, based on these challenges NSUK has to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Drug Advisory Programme (DAP) of Colombo to train drug abuse professionals.  The Colombo plan is a regional inter-governmental organisation established in 1951 by Australia, Canada, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and United Kingdom to tackle drug abuse.

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