The Necessity of Enforcing Tramadol Ban in Nigeria

The Necessity of Enforcing Tramadol Ban in Nigeria

The volume of illegal drug trafficking in Nigerian borders is becoming alarming, especially the illicit tramadol, 225 milligrams dosage and above, which has been legally banned by both the international community and the federal government on the premise of its adverse effect on people who take it.

Regardless of this situation, some Indian drug manufacturing companies in dirty business deals with some importers of these drugs in Nigeria have defiled the international order on the dosage production by illegally producing 225mg of tramadol specifically for Nigerians and other African countries like Ghana and Egypt, against the permissible 50 and 100 milligrams respectively.

This obnoxious trafficking is predominantly feasible because of the local business associates who indulge in the act of sneaking it in through the Nigerian borders by concealing it under the guise of legal products, which takes the eagle eyes of Custom officers and other security agencies to unravel the hidden mystery.

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Howbeit, the recent destruction of 58 containers of 225mg of tramadol worth N14.7 billion in Shagamu dumpsite, Ogun State, and the subsequent planned destruction of over 9 containers in Port Harcourt by Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, in collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, report of  November 10, 2017, revealed that NCS intercepted 12 containers out of which 6 of the containers were found to contain 160 million tablets of tramadol of 220 and 250 milligrams dosage. Furthermore, on Wednesday November 14, 2018 the NCS also positioned 23 containers from which a total of 581 million tablets of tramadol were seized, has proven the dire wicked efforts of selfish business moguls who are hell bent in destroying the future of the country.   

Speaking against this, the Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, ACG, in charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Dahiru Aminu, said that it is a very sad situation that the Indians are going against the international law set for a country by producing a higher milligram dosage which has significantly contributed to the criminal activities going on in the country.

Aminu equally hinted that the funny part of the issue is that Indians who manufacture this 225mg of tramadol drugs don’t make use of it as it is exclusively meant for exports to other countries such as Nigeria with aid of people beyond borders.

…The dire effect

The influence of this high dosage of tramadol can be pointed out on the criminal activities prevalent in the Northern part of the country as well as in other areas where violence is becoming the order of the day. The kidnapping, terrorist attack, robbery and raping are all in one way or another being influenced by the opium effect of this drug.

A pharmacist in Ogun State in a painful tone, pointed out that the Ogun State government spent N2.5 million for the rehabilitation of a citizen who was a victim of drug abuse. Most of these awful activities were caused by peer pressures and lack of adequate sensitization on harmful effects of these drugs.

…Way forward  

In the course to eliminate all forms of stealing and hurdling of the illegal drugs by some Customs officers, the ACG pointed out that the destruction exercise which is the first of its kind under the administration of Comptroller General of Customs, CGC, Hameed Ali, will be a continuous one to prevent leakages and maintain high level of transparency in the service.

He further charged the banks to be vigilant and always record the kind of people who indulge in some importation transactions with detailed information to enable the appropriate agencies track down the trucks conveying illegal drugs.

…Hardened criminals

For some criminals, they are no longer interested in any other business except dealing in illegal drugs probably because of the excess financial gain. This has made the unlucky ones whose trailers were seized by the customs to start trailing and threatening some officers with death.

Aminu also confirmed the life threatening calls received by some Customs officers from dealers of the banned drugs, as most of the culprits arrested have refused to divulge their crime partners but however, willing to die with the truth instead.

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