Sweet Codeine War Goes To Nigeria’s Border
On a daily basis, the need to address the porousness of Nigeria's border becomes more glaring to the nation and its citizens.
Just on Wednesday the Health Ministry issued an order for agencies to ensure that the bottles of cough syrups with codeine content currently in Nigeria were the last that would be sold.
Nigeria's border is porous, even President Muhammadu Buhari told President Donald Trump about this when they discussed insecurity in the northeast and herdsmen killings.
Drug addiction control is one war that is usually difficult and where there is a porous border, any ban on legal importation, translates to smuggling of items.
Combined numbers from about three states in the northern part of Nigeria showed over three million bottles of cough syrup with codeine are consumed daily.
Now that these persons will not find codeine over the counter to buy, checking Nigeria's porous borders has become pertinent and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Adamawa Command, says it is rising to the task.
It has started intensive surveillance on major routes along the Nigeria-Cameroon border.
The NDLEA said the move was sequel to the Federal Government ban on the production and importation of codeine.
A day after the Federal Ministry of Health directed the NDLEA offices across the country to ensure strict surveillance of the borders, the NDLEA’s Commander in Adamawa, Mr Yakubu Kibo, said the command had taken strategic measures to comply with the Federal Government directive.
“As you are aware, Adamawa has porous borders with Cameroon Republican; five of the seven local government areas affected by Boko Haram in the state are directly on the border with Cameroon.
“But we have intensified surveillance in collaboration with of sister agencies in these areas to frustrate any attempt to import the substance into the country," he told the News Agency of Nigeria.
Kibo said that the command recently destroyed over 14,000 tonnes of hard drugs, four tonnes of which were cough syrup with codeine.
He gave an assurance that the command would frustrate all possible moves to bring the banned drugs into the state and the country in general.