Illicit Drug Trafficking in Nigeria: Obstacle to National Develop
Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs

Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs
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Research Article - (2017) Volume 5, Issue 1

Illicit Drug Trafficking in Nigeria: Obstacle to National Development and Security

Nwannennaya C* and Abiodun TF
Chief Superintendent of Narcotics, Directorate of General Investigations, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Lagos Office, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Nwannennaya C, Chief Superintendent of Narcotics, Directorate of General Investigations, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Lagos Office, Nigeria, Tel: 08036065116 Email:


One of the actual threats to the nation’s and human security is the alarming rate of illicit drug trafficking (IDT). The menace of illicit drug trafficking poses heinous threats to human lives, national development and security. Most of the Nigerian borders are porous, therefore, giving room for easy influx, movement and exit of drugs. However, the failing economy, insecurity, high rate of graduate unemployment, poverty, failure of government to provide basic necessities of life, high level of corruption and get-rich-quickly syndrome among the youths in Nigeria, constitute the various banes behind the practice of illicit drug trafficking in the state. This study interrogates the obstacles and threats posed by drug trafficking to human lives, state’s development and national security; it assesses the concerted efforts of the Nigerian government aimed at combating the menace with a plan to proffer solutions on how to checkmate the disheartening phenomenon. The study concludes that, lack of adequate intelligence gathering, insecurity, bribery and corruption, poverty, civilization and porous borders stand as a cog in the wheel to appreciable efforts at arresting the menace in the country. It also submits that there is need for sound orientation/education, strong law and good governance, adequate intelligence gathering to solve the problem in addition to the imperative role of law enforcement agencies for sustenance of a drug-free society and state.

Keywords: Illicit drugs, Drug traffickers, Drug addicts, National development, National security


We are greeted almost on a daily basis with a barrage of news of young Nigerians who are arrested while attempting to traffic hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin both within and outside the country. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) defines drug trafficking as the illicit global trade that deals with the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. The most commonly trafficked drugs are cocaine, heroin, morphine, cannabis sativa (Indian hemp) and crystal methamphetamine [1]. The origin of Nigeria’s drugs trafficking problem can be traced to the period just after the Second World War. Nigerian soldiers who had served in Burma, India, came back with seeds of the cannabis sativa plant. They went ahead to experiment with its cultivation and discovered that the plant does very well in some parts of Nigeria, and this led to a rise in the cultivation of the plant [2].

It was just a matter of time before the potentials of a high population, improving economy and a growing air transportation system would position Nigeria as a potential market where drugs trafficking can grow as well as a producer. In subsequent years, Nigeria became a transit/trafficking point for category “A” drugs such as cocaine, heroin and other illicit substances intended for Europe, East Asia and North American markets [3]. The Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency reported that large amounts of cocaine smuggled from South America into Europe and North America passes through Nigeria. The most widely abused and locally trafficked illicit drug in Nigeria and indeed West Africa is cannabis, in its herbal form because it is quite affordable and readily available due to the fact that it is cultivated and produced locally. Illicit drugs are usually smuggled across the nation’s land, air and sea ports [4].

Those smuggled by air are usually wrapped in protective film and swallowed, to be excreted at the destination of the trafficker or are tucked away in the smugglers luggage.

Until the advent of the NDLEA, the Board of customs and Excise (now Nigeria Customs Service) and the Nigeria police were the major drug interdiction organs of government, while the Federal Welfare Department was charged with the counseling, treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependent persons. From the activities of the Agency over the years, it is evident that government made no mistake in establishing the body that has become the reference point and the leading light in global efforts against drug cultivation, trafficking and abuse [5].

Conceptual definitions

The following provide operationalization of some concepts as used in the research:

Hard drugs: These are certain kinds of drugs that act strongly on the nervous system. Examples are: heroin, cocaine, marijuana and others.

Drug addicts: These are the persons who are addicted to use of drugs for pleasure for the first time which leads to addiction for the future.

Theoretical Framework

The study is predicated within the confine of Rational Choice Theory.

Rational choice theory first emerged in the mid-eighteenth century and was first referred to as classical theory. It was developed by the Classical School of Criminology through the writings of Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. The theory perceives people as free agents who are free to make rational choices virtually in all aspects of their lives. This school views organized crime members as possessing free will and as being able to make rational decisions regarding their involvement in crime and wrongdoing. Policies stemming from this approach dictate, dealing harshly and quickly with offenders in an effort to deter them from making such choices again. However, little consideration was given to the offenders’ backgrounds or the circumstances surrounding the crimes that they committed. Because offenders were considered to be rational thinkers, punishment for their crimes was based on the pleasure-pain principle. This meant that the pain of punishment for the offence must outweigh the pleasure the offender receives as a reward for committing the crime. So in theory, the rational offender would realize that it was not worth it to commit the criminal act in the first place. George [6] also espoused the idea that the punishment should fit the crime.

Rational Choice Theory suggests that people who commit crimes do so after considering the risks of detection and punishment for the crimes (risk assessment), as well as the rewards (personal, financial etc) of completing these acts successfully. On the other hand, persons who do not commit crime decide that completing the act successfully is too risky or not worth the benefits. It should be noted that crimes are committed based on array of reasons which include: economic, psychological, physical, social and political motivations. In the context of organized crime, financial incentives clearly play an important role in the person’s decision to engage in crime [7].


The method adopted in this research is content analysis, using mainly secondary data. The secondary data employed include existing literature on the topic such as internet, books, journals, newspapers, magazines, conference papers and annual reports of NDLEA. In the course of the research, the researcher consulted the internet, and some Offices of the NDLEA in Nigeria.

Overview of Drug and Crime Activities in Nigeria

Nigeria is a state that gained independence in 1960 and .a federation of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), located in West Africa and shares borders with Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east and Niger Republic in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. Nigeria is divided into six geo-political zones: North-East, North-Central, North- West, South-East, South-South and South-West. Nigeria is blessed with approximately 174 million citizens/inhabitants, making it the most populous country in Africa and the seventh in the world. The country is inhabited by over 250 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba [8].

Nigeria’s economy overtook South Africa to become the largest in Africa and the 26th largest in the world in the year 2014. Despite its strong fundamentals, the country is threatened with various challenges which include; wide-spread poverty (almost 70% of the population live below poverty line), inadequate power supply, and infrastructural facilities, inconsistent policy and regulatory environment, a slow judicial system, corruption and insecurity. The literacy level of the total population is 61.3%. Nigeria’s health indices reflect a poor state of development. Life expectancy at birth is 52.62 years [9].

Drug trafficking: The current situation

Drug trafficking is a global phenomenon. A 2012 report by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), submits that Nigeria tops the list with the highest trafficking and drug use in West Africa. The report further indicates that in the last 15 years, West Africa became the new transit hub for cocaine comparing from Latin America destined for Europe with Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, emerging as the most active centre for air trafficking of cocaine. The report indicates that close to 50% of Africa’s drug couriers arrested in Europe in 2011 were citizens of Nigeria. Nigeria however, topped the list of major transit routes of heroin destined for Europe. Nigeria is reported to have featured prominently among West African states that produce and export cannabis to countries in Europe [10].

According to the UNODC Threat Assessment of Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa Report in 2013, Nigerian trafficking syndicates based in Brazil and other places in South America remain quite active in cocaine trafficking, with these groups importing cocaine through containerized consignments and maritime shipping, air couriering and postal shipments. It is of note that methamphetamine production in West Africa is a growing concern. The main market for West African produced methamphetamine is East Asia, and to a lesser extent, South Africa. Nigerians have been over-represented in the number of West Africans arrested both in Africa and Europe for heroin smuggling [11].

NDLEA Report [12] identifies that drug trafficking remains a thriving business and a serious issue in Nigeria and strong concerted efforts are needed to be taken for the control. The report shows that NDLEA in 2014 arrested 8, 843 suspected drug offenders. The total quantity of drugs seized stood at 339, 968 kilograms. As appeared in the previous years, cannabis topped the list of drugs seized with a total of 205, 373 kilograms. Psychotropic drugs followed at 133,920 kilograms, then methamphetamine (340.8kg), cocaine (290.2kg), heroin (24.53kg), amphetamine (19.297kg.) and ephedrine (0.28kg). The cultivation of cannabis is also well situated in some parts of Nigeria [13]. For instance, in 2013, about 847.46 hectares of cannabis plantations nationwide were discovered and destroyed.

Channels of Drug Trafficking in Nigeria

Drugs are illegally trafficked through the following channels:

Smuggling through the porous borders

Drugs are smuggled into the country through the various porous borders. Nigeria is bedeviled with porous borders as it shares common borders with Benin, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that are known as countries that transit illegal drugs into the country. Illicit drugs are usually smuggled across the nation’s land, air and sea ports. However, various types of drugs in heavy kilograms and grammes; cannabis, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and others are smuggled in and out of the country and they are sealed in ceramics, woman hairs, bags, sewing threads, basket handles and even swallowed by the traffickers [14].


Drugs are increasingly advertised and traded online on the dark web or markets. The drugs are booked on internets and later transported in parcels to end-users through the traffickers. These hard drugs are also parceled and shipped in and out of the country and at the same time, the drug barons “settle” some of the security agents that could serve as impediments to their business. Drugs are parceled in cartons, bags, food flasks and others [15].

Air route

Illicit drugs are transported to the country through air routes. Those smuggled by air are usually wrapped in protective film and swallowed, to be excreted at the destination of the trafficker or are tucked away in the smugglers luggage.

That is why the former Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Alhaji Ahmad Giade, years back, ordered a close monitoring of passengers and goods on the Nigeria-Brazil route in the year 2015 The directive was given as operatives of the Agency apprehended four (4) suspected drug traffickers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos over illegal importation of 3.455kg of cocaine. The suspected drug traffickers were caught with the substance while returning from Brazil [16].

Generally, Nigerian trafficking syndicates based in Brazil and other places in South America remain quite active in cocaine trafficking, with these groups importing cocaine through containerized consignments and maritime shipping, air couriering and postal shipments.

Factors that Encourage Illicit Drug Trafficking in Nigeria

Financial burdens

Global drug trafficking is a multibillion dollar business. According to a March 2014 CNN world report, the Mexican drug cartels alone made between $19 and $29 billion dollars in sales per year. This huge amount means that people are willing to take massive risks to perpetuate their drug trade [17].

Youth unemployment

In a country like Nigeria that is burdened with massive youth unemployment, corruption, poverty and a general loss of hope in the government, this financial rewards act as a huge inducement for engagement in drugs trafficking.

Get-rich-quickly syndrome

Another factor is the quest of Nigerian youths to make money big and fast. The drugs trade though with its attendant risks is a quick way to make money. Youths that have weak and low moral structures can easily fall victim to this evil act of trafficking drugs from one nation to other.

Peer pressure

This is an instance whereby if a friend takes or uses heroin or other substance, it is possible to get the other one influenced into the system.


Healing from drug addiction takes time. For an addict to make up his/her mind to stop using hard drug is a big step. Being addicted makes him/her afraid of what would happen if he/she does not keep taking the drug. People often would not try quitting until they are forced to, because it seems too hard. But when the addict stops using the drugs, it upsets his/her body and brain. He or she might fall sick for a while, and feel a very strong need to take the drug.

Sexual involvement

People take hard or illicit drugs in order to gain sexual vigour. This is a result of suffering from erectile dysfunction while having sexual relationship with loved ones. As a result of this, they use hard drugs [18].

Break-up relationship

Using hard drugs to “cope” with a break-up relationship is a very bad idea. It is one of the best reasons to get addiction. Break-up in relationship is very hurting though, that is why we see many people end up their lives heroin, meth, cocaine and others in order to quickly put behind the break-up experience in them [19].

Illicit Drug Trafficking as Obstacle to National Development and Security

In the past decade, there has been significant growth in the illicit trafficking of drugs, people, firearms, and natural resources. Trafficking in these and other commodities is generally characterized by high levels of organization and the presence of strong criminal groups and networks. While such activities existed in the past, both the scale and the geographic scope of the current challenge are unprecedented. In 2009, the value of illicit trade around the globe was estimated at US$1.3 trillion and is increasing [20]. In addition to tarnishing Nigeria’s image as a nation, drug trafficking also has negative impacts on its security, economy and the well-being of Nigerians. The proceeds from drug trafficking can potentially be a source of funding for non-state armed and terrorist groups. The activities of these groups result in prolonged conflicts, instability and consequently overthrow of governments.

Transnational organized crime and drug trafficking is of growing concern, and particularly illicit trade’s broad impact on development. Drug trafficking has particularly severe implications because of the vast illegal profits it generates: an estimated 322 billion dollars a year. In several drug production and transit regions, criminal groups undermine state authority and the rule of law by fuelling corruption, compromising elections, and hurting the legitimate economy. In all cases, criminal influence and money are having a significant impact on the livelihoods and quality of life of citizens, most particularly the poor, women and children [21].

The 2005 World Summit Outcome Document expressed Member States’ “grave concern at the negative effects on development, peace and security and human rights posed by transnational crime, including the smuggling of and trafficking in human beings, the world narcotic drug problem and the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.” [21]. The General Assembly has most recently reiterated this concern and noted the increasing vulnerability of states to such crime in Resolution A/Res/66/181 (Strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity). The Assembly has also recognized that “despite continuing increased efforts by States, relevant organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations, the world drug problem…undermines socio-economic and political stability and sustainable development.” A/Res/66/183 (International Cooperation Against the World Drug Problem).

A number of international conventions on drug control, and more recently the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on human trafficking, migrant smuggling and trafficking of firearms, as well as the UN Convention against Corruption, constitute the key framework for a strategic response. Such instruments call upon State Parties to take “into account the negative effects of organized crime on society in general, in particular on sustainable development”, and “to alleviate the factors that make persons, especially women and children, vulnerable to trafficking, such as poverty, underdevelopment and lack of equal opportunity.” See article 30 of the UNTOC and article 9 of the Trafficking Protocol. See also article 62 of the UNCAC. They also commit parties to respect fundamental human rights in countering organized crime and drug trafficking [22,23]. The Secretary General’s 2005 "In Larger Freedom” report highlighted that “We will not enjoy development without security, and we will not enjoy security without development". The Secretary-General’s 2010 “Keeping the Promise” report (A/64/665) recognized that in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, “integrity, accountability and transparency are crucial for managing resources, recovering assets and combating the abuse, corruption and organized crime that are adversely affecting the poor.” As we move towards 2015, and take stock of the Millennium Development Goals, there is a growing recognition that organized crime and illicit drugs are major impediments to their achievement [24].

As economic development is threatened by transnational organized crime and illicit drugs, countering crime must form part of the development agenda, and social and economic development approaches need to form part of our response to organized crime. If we are to ensure that the MDGs are achieved, we must strengthen strategies to deliver these goals, including stepping up efforts to address issues such as money laundering, corruption and trafficking in wildlife, people and arms, and drugs. Organized crime and drugs impact every economy, in every country, but they are particularly devastating in weak and vulnerable countries. Weak and fragile countries are particularly vulnerable to the effects of transnational organized crime [25]. These countries, some devastated by war, others making the complex journey towards democracy, are preyed upon by crime. As a result, organized crime flourishes, successes in development are reversed, and opportunities for social and economic advancement are lost. Corruption, a facilitator of organized crime and drug trafficking, is a serious impediment to the rule of law and sustainable development. It can be a dominant factor driving fragile countries towards failure. It is estimated that up to US$40 billion annually is lost through corruption in developing countries [21].

Drugs trafficking undermine development by eroding social and human capital. This degrades quality of life and can force skilled workers to leave, while the direct impacts of victimization, as well as fear of crime, may impede the development of those that remain. By limiting movement, crime impedes access to possible employment and educational opportunities, and it discourages the accumulation of assets. Crime is also more “expensive” for poor people in poor countries and disadvantaged households may struggle to cope with the shock of victimization. Drugs and crime also undermine development by driving away business [20]. Both foreign and domestic investors see crime as a sign of social instability, and crime drives up the cost of doing business. Tourism is a sector especially sensitive to crime issues. Drugs and crime, moreover, undermine the ability of the state to promote development by destroying the trust relationship between the people and the state, and undermining democracy and confidence in the criminal justice system. When people lose confidence in the criminal justice system, they may engage in vigilantism, which further undermines the state [20].

Finally, individuals who become dependent on or addicted to trafficked substances could suffer from social, psychological and psychiatric complications with resultant untoward effects on themselves, their families, work, communities and the nation at large.

Interventions by Nigerian Government Aimed at Curbing Illicit Drug Trafficking

The war against drug trafficking in Nigeria started in earnest with the establishment of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance of 1935. This ordinance guided the then Board of Customs and Excise and the Nigeria Police to tackle drugs trafficking locally. Another important period in Nigeria’s war on drugs was the Decree No. 20 of 1984 which proscribed the death penalty for all those involved in drugs trafficking [8]. However, due to public outcry this law was adjusted to between two years and life imprisonment, depending on the offence. The enactment of Decree 48 of 1989 saw the establishment by the Federal Military Government of an independent body known as the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to tackle the menace of drugs abuse and trafficking. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is a Federal agency in Nigeria charged with eliminating the growing, processing, manufacturing, selling, exporting, and trafficking of hard drugs [26].

In the first instance, the NDLEA describes the South West region of Nigeria as one of the main centres of illicit drug production in the country. 196.5 acres (0.795 km2) of cannabis farmland was discovered and destroyed in the region in 2008. In particular, Edo State has the highest rate of seizure of cannabis in the country. In April 2009, the NDLEA confiscated 6.5 tonnes of marijuana from the home of a man in Ogun State who claimed to be 114 years old. In September 2009 the NDLEA reported destroying a 24 hectare Cannabis Plantation in a forest reserve in Osun State [8].

In January 2009, the NDLEA publicly burned 5,605.45 kilograms of drugs seized from traffickers in the historic town of Badagry, Lagos. The bonfire included 376.45 kilograms of cocaine, 71.46 kilograms of heroin and 5,157.56 tonnes of cannabis in 2015. The United States donated full body scanning machines for the Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt international airports and provided security training and orientation Airport Officers. The machines have proved effective in catching smugglers and couriers taking cocaine from Latin America to Europe by way of Nigeria. Between 2006 and June 2008 over 12,663 suspected drug dealers were arrested, with seizure of over 418.8 metric tonnes of various hard drugs. For example, in July 2009 a woman about to board a KLM flight at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport was arrested by NDLEA officers and later excreted 42 wraps of cocaine, weighing 585 grams. In September 2009, the NDLEA arrested a Guinean woman en route from Brazil to Europe with 6.350 kg of pure cocaine at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos [6].

In 2008, Nigeria was certified by the United States of America in the anti-narcotic crusade, for the eight successive times. President George Bush said that Nigeria had made significant progress in counter narcotics and had effectively co-operated with the United States on drug-related and money laundering cases. In Katsina State alone, one hundred people were convicted for drug offences from January to May 2008, and 358 people were arrested for drug offences in this period. The former Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Alhaji Ahmad Giade ordered a close monitoring of passengers and goods on the Nigeria-Brazil route. The directive was given as operatives of the Agency apprehended four suspected drug traffickers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos over illegal importation of 3.455kg of cocaine. The suspected drug traffickers were caught with the substance while returning from Brazil in the year 2015 [8].

In October, 2016, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it arrested two persons, Azuka Emmanuel (55) and Ndubuisi Okafor (23), caught in possession of drugs worth over N2.5 billion in Cross River State. Confirming the arrests, the state NDLEA Director, Rivers State Mrs. Anthonia Edeh, said the duos were apprehended during the checking at the airport. Also, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on in 2014, sentenced one Abiodun Oyatolu, 20, to eighteen months in prison for trafficking heroin that weighs 9.9 gm. The Prosecutor, Mr Jeremiah Aernan, in his statement presented the court an evidence of a written statement of the accused. Another Nigerian was sentenced to seven years in prison after he was found guilty of drug trafficking. He trafficked 588 grams of cocaine into Malta from Belgium in 2013. Eddy Favour Imeh was arrested back in August 2013, when he was found to have swallowed 46 capsules of cocaine before boarding his plane [27].

However, at least 120 suspected drugs traffickers and addicts were arrested by the NDLEA in Kaduna State from January 2016 to date. “The agency arrested 74 suspected drug traffickers, seized 15.342 tons of illicit drugs, secured 10 convictions and rehabilitated 68 drugs addicts from January to March 2016 respectively. Same in the year 2015, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, recorded a major success in the war against drug trafficking with the interception of a heroin-laden letter in Lagos. The letter according to the agency was sent from Bengaluru, India, on Express Mail Service (EMS) and addressed to one Mr Yunusa Amusan. Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, in 2013, arrested Ijeoma Ojukwu, a niece to late politician, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu and three others over the importation of 2.24 kilogrammes of cocaine from Brazil. In a statement issued in Lagos, spokesman for NDLEA, Mr. Ofoyeju Mitchell confirmed the incident [28].

In May, 2015, a Lagos Pastor was arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA), Enugu over drug trafficking. The suspect, Daniel Lanre Akintola, 43, was caught with 1.978kg of heroin concealed in the false bottom of his luggage. However, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it has stopped 20 people from smuggling drugs out of Nigeria. The agency, in a statement on Thursday, said since January 2014, 19 Nigerians and a Ghanaian have been arrested in Nigerian airports attempting to smuggle 106,914 kilogrammes of narcotics. A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday remanded at Kirikiri Prisons a 33-year-old woman, Hope Umuraero, charged with attempting to export 1.4 kg of hemp to Dubai. Umuraero, who is being prosecuted by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for drug trafficking, pleaded guilty to the charge [11].

Finally, there has been increased information sharing with other law enforcement agencies and stakeholders; and also with the effective launch of AIRCOP at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, communication has been enhanced among the agencies involved.

Recommended Strategies of Preventing Illicit Drug Trafficking in Nigeria

The war on drugs on could be sustained if the following recommended strategies are employed to tackle the menace:

Reduction of target market

This involves bringing about a decline in the consumption of these substances thereby reducing demand. This will in turn cut down on the revenue of the drug traffickers, hence making the business less lucrative. This would entail counseling, rehabilitation and reintegration of drug dependent individuals into the society in order to help them stay off drugs.

Adequate funding and training of security operatives

In as much as the government has done well by setting up the NDLEA, the agencies involved with the war on drugs should be adequately funded both by government and concerned citizens. Added to funding, they also have to be routinely trained to enable them keep up with the ever changing war. If necessary, adequate legislation should be put in place to further punish those involved in the sale of these drugs.

Orientation and education of the youth

The majority of those associated with illicit drugs both with respect to abuse and trafficking are youths, this means that if the youths are kept away from drugs, the entire problem is almost solved. The Nigerian youth needs to be further oriented on the dangers involved with engaging in trafficking and abuse of drugs and not to see it as a means of livelihood. This orientation should not be left only to be done by the government or educational institutions but parents and guardians should also step up and play their role in this.

Use of full-body scanning machines

The United States has donated full body scanning machines for the Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt international airports and has provided security training and orientation airport officers. The machines have proved effective in catching smugglers and couriers taking cocaine from Latin America to Europe by way of Nigeria.

Strong law and good governance

Three institutions can be reformed to promote good governance: the state, the private sector and civil society. However, among different cultures, the need and demand for reform can vary depending on the priorities of that country's society. A variety of country level initiatives and international movements put emphasis on various types of governance reform. Each movement for reform establishes criteria for what they consider good governance based on their own needs and agendas.

Constant monitoring with technology in bloggs/websites

Various Web pages and blogs are the most common source of trade in drugs. Therefore, there is need for the security agencies; NDLEA and others to spring into actions by tracking the nefarious activities of drug peddling.

Adequate intelligence gathering on drug trafficking

Strategic intelligence focuses on the current picture of drug trafficking from cultivation to distribution that can be used for management decision making, resource deployment, and policy planning.

Need for effective air monitoring

The AIRCOP launched at Murtala Muhammed International Airport and communication among the agencies involved should be more effective and enhanced.

Finally, there is need for sustained efforts of specialized agency of NDLEA aimed at strengthening the national capacity to capture, analyze and regularly monitor baseline data and trends on drug consumption and drug trafficking.


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Citation: Nwannennaya C (2017) Illicit Drug Trafficking in Nigeria: Obstacle to National Development and Security. J Pol Sci Pub Aff 5:230.

Copyright: © 2017 Nwannennaya C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.