The influx and incessant importation of tramadol and other hard drugs through Nigerian seaports is becoming endemic. Even though several seizures of these illicit drugs, running into billions of naira has been recorded in the last one year still the influx of these dangerous drugs whose abuse is increasingly turning many Nigerian youths into agents of violence and social vices, is posing serious threats to human lives, national security and economic development of the nation.
As of last year, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) seized 51 container-loads of the banned substance, tramadol from Lagos ports in one week. The 51 containers were worth N10.43 billion while 10 of the 40ft containers of tramadol, ciprofloxacin capsules, diclofenac sodium tablets, soffeathe, IV cannula, sidenfil citrate tablets, and one 40ft container had bleaching soaps, among others. Out of desperation to maximize profit even at the detriment of putting human lives and national security at risk, importers of the dangerous drugs offered Customs officers a sum of N150 million as a bribe to clear part of the ungodly consignments.
Also, the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), intercepted more than six billion tablets of tramadol worth about N193 billion in 2018. The Director General of the agency NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said that in the same year, the agency also intercepted 321,146 cartons of unregistered pharmaceutical products worth hundreds of millions of naira.
However, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (retd), said it was indeed worrisome to note that there are some Nigerians who are ready to make money at the expense of human lives by bringing in such quantity of drugs that have grave consequences on national security.