Nigeria might face a drug abuse epidemic due to increasing influx of Tramadol into the country, the government has said.
The quantity of Tramadol coming into the country was of high volume because traffickers were bringing a lot of it, apart from other drugs such as Methamphetamine and Ephedrine, Garba Ahmadu, a Commander with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub on Monday.
He spoke at an event to mark the UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Tramadol is an opioid-like pain medication used to alleviate pain but it can be highly addictive.
Ahmadu said due to the vigilance of NDLEA at the Lagos Airport, a lot of departures from Nigeria divert to other West African countries, whenever they were coming to the country.
“If you look at the manifest so far, you will see a lot of departures from Nigeria; but somehow, when they are coming back, you see them diverting to most West African countries,” he added.
“There is an upsurge in the quantity of drug seizure, because if you look at what we have been able to arrest in 2017, it is a kind of unprecedented in the last 10 years in terms of quantity,” he said.
“Again, if you look at this year, we have almost tripled what we have been able to do; what is surprising about this thing is the quantity of Tramadol coming into the country,” Ahmadu told his audience.
According to him, there are several upsurge too of either inward or outward trafficking, mostly outward trafficking of Methamphetamine and Ephedrine.