Nigeria tops African countries in cocaine smuggling- Report

Hard drugs on a dark table. [File, Standard]

Nigeria tops cocaine smuggling countries in Africa according to the 2023 Global Report on Cocaine.

The report was presented during a Heads of Drug Law Enforcement Agencies in Africa (HONLAF) meeting taking place in Abuja, Nigeria.

It was released in March this year, and its results are based on the major cocaine trafficking routes between 2018-2021, as revealed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“Based on aggregate reporting to UNODC on the main cocaine trafficking routes during 2018-2021, trafficking of cocaine was reported from Nigeria to 20 countries or territories,” the report shows. 

According to the report, the Saharan region, transit countries like Ethiopia as well as those in the Asia-Pacific region are among the territories to which cocaine was trafficked.

During the convention, an increase in the cultivation, trafficking and consumption of drugs in Africa was noted, with the attendees coming up with measures aimed at reversing this situation.

“The continued illicit cultivation and trafficking of drugs across the borders calls for cross-border cooperation among African states so as to stem this trend,” said Head of the Delegation, Beverly Opwora.

Opwora gave examples of actions Kenya is taking in order to reduce drug trafficking in the country including actively implementing a two-pronged drug control strategy.

Her sentiments were seconded by the acting CEO of the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), John Muteti who emphasized implementing mass media campaigns, and positive parenting among other strategies.

“On supply reduction, Kenya has put in place efficient enforcement agencies and enhanced their coordination with key stakeholders including those in the criminal justice system,” he said.

According to Muteti, the strategies enhance investigations hence making sure the drug dealers face the law.

During this meeting, Kenya was represented by the Ministry of Interior and National Administration, NACADA, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), and the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC).