U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Drug Trafficking and Penal Policy in Nigeria

NCJ Number
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice Volume: 22 Issue: 1-2 Dated: Spring-Fall 1998 Pages: 311-327
A Rotimi
Date Published
17 pages
Drug trafficking and drug law enforcement in Nigeria are discussed in terms of the involvement of Nigerians in international drug trafficking; drug sources and routes; drug demand in the United States; drug trafficking's consequences for Nigeria; and Nigerian drug laws, corrections policies, and drug law enforcement.
Drug law offenses were a minor problem in Nigeria before the early 1980s. However, trafficking of heroin and cocaine has become a serious social problem in Nigeria in the last decade and is second only to politics as the country's most serious social problem. During this period, a whole new market involving supplies of raw materials and a distribution network for the finished product has developed to serve the drug industry. The consequences have been severe; Nigerians traveling abroad are suspected as possible drug couriers, and the United States has put Nigeria on its list of decertified countries. The United States is the single most important consumer of hard drugs that pass through Nigeria; the continuing demand means that the drug trade will continue to boom. The Nigerian government has used many legal, social, and economic strategies to address the problem; none has effectively addressed its causes. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has experienced some successes in the last few years. However, the military government has committed most of the country's resources to political engineering, security issues, image promotion, and the like and has neglected the country's major social problems. High unemployment and unchanged wages have encouraged corruption at all levels of government. The government must bring drug barons to justice, create opportunities for gainful employment, demonstrate its acceptance of the rule of law, and promote political stability to make the current laws effective. 45 references