The Upper Legislative Chamber, on Tuesday, July 9, called on the Federal Government to ban the production, importation, or circulation of sniper insecticide, a product currently being used to commit suicide.
The call, followed a motion sponsored by Senator Theodore Orji (Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abia) and 15 others, on the rising incidents of suicides among Nigerians.
Orji, while making his presentation on the rising cases of suicide in Nigeria, said that suicide could be prevented, particularly when family, friends, and close relatives of the person contemplating suicide, provide support, either by way of encouragement, listening to them, or removing means of committing suicide, such as dangerous drugs and chemicals, especially sniper.
He noted that it is worrisome that the number of Nigerians taking their lives, had assumed a frightening dimension, saying that, government, religious institutions, and other relevant corporate bodies, have not addressed the ugly situation in the country.
He said that the situation may continue, if not properly addressed.
Orji disclosed that there was need to create awareness on how to control stress and depression by government, religious institutions, and other relevant corporate bodies, and the establishment of trauma centres across the Federation.
This, he said would also reduce the rate of suicide in the country.
Contributing, Sen. Bamidela Opeyemi (Ekiti), said that the issue of suicide is more of a sociological issue that has to do with depression, mental issues, and ultimately poverty.
He noted that the Senate must interface with the Executive, to address the challenges in the economy, by creating opportunities for employment via industrialisation and agriculture.
Sen. Rochas Okorocha (All Progressives Congress (APC) Imo), also contributing, stated that many Nigerians are committing suicide, because they are not happy.
He said that the government should find out why people are not happy, and why they are talking their lives.
Okorocha, therefore advocated for the creation of a government Department or Ministry of Happiness, to address the problem.
Adopting the motion, the Senate also urged the Federal Government through the Ministry of Information, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Ministry of Health, to create awareness on how to control stress and depression.
The Senate, also urged the Federal Government through the National Universities Commission (NUC), to review the school curriculum and come up with compulsory courses that would enable students place value on their lives.
It also urged religious bodies across the Federation, to always preach love, peace, and how to relieve stress and depression.
The Senate also said that there was need to engage the Executive to expand its special intervention programme, to leverage on extant schemes like the N-Power, in creating economic opportunities for the vulnerable people.