According to the United Nations (UN), the production of illicit narcotics and psychotropic drugs in the country has been on the rise. The revelation was made in a report carried out by one of its agencies, International Narcotics Control Board and released to journalists in Abuja. The report said, “In Nigeria, three laboratories illicitly manufacturing methamphetamine were dismantled in May, 2015, bringing to 10 the total number of such laboratories dismantled in that country since 2011.
“Nigerian authorities have discovered what appear to be the sites of a number recently evacuated methamphetamine laboratories, suggesting that traffickers have been operating a chain of laboratories that are moved in order to avoid detection. The trend noted in 2013, whereby the sites of the laboratories identified up to May 2015 were located in Anambra State, in South Eastern Nigeria,
“In most of the methamphetamine laboratories seized in Nigeria, only traces of the key precursor, ephedrine, were found and the sources of the chemicals were generally not known.”
The Country Representative of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Nigeria, Cristina Albertin, explained that there was need for concerted efforts to checkmate the illicit manufacturing of psychotropic substances. She said Nigeria has a critical role to play in that regards, adding that the UNODC was ready to assist government to fight the crime. The acting Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, said NAFDAC was aware of persistent and emerging challenges regarding drug problems in Nigeria and are working assiduously with relevant stakeholders to address the problem.
“The pre – export notification online, an initiative of the INCB, is therefore an effective tool for monitoring the international movement of precursor”, she stated.
The chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Col. Muhammad Abdullah (retd) explained the low level of commercial and pharmacological regulation and a frequent lack of trade monitoring and weak customs capacities in many African countries compared to those in other regions of the world.
“As a result, new precursor routes and reshipment operations are expected to continue to emerge in Africa”, Oni stated.