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NDLEA chairman: Tramadol abuse fuelling insurgency in north-east

NDLEA chairman: Tramadol abuse fuelling insurgency in north-east
June 25
13:58 2020

Muhammad Abdallah, chairman and chief executive officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says the abuse of tramadol, a prohibited drug, is fuelling insurgency in the north-east.

Abdallah spoke on Thursday ahead of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking scheduled for June 26 with the theme “Better Knowledge for Better Care”.

Describing drug abuse as “the real pandemic”, he said tramadol is the most abused opiate in the country.

He noted that tramadol abuse in Nigeria is higher than in other nations, and all hands must be on deck to fight the drug menace.


“The government of India has upped its ante; they have now put more control on the supply of tramadol to Nigeria,” he said.

“Tramadol, if I will explain a little bit more, for normal medicinal dosage is between 50mg and 100mg. But the ones we have seen in Nigeria range from 200mg to like 500mg. Even a horse will be deadbeat by the time it takes that.

“But that is what Nigerians have been taking. That is what fuels insurgency in the north-east, because theatre commandants have testified to me that every Boko Haram camp they have overrun, they found paraphernalia of drug abuse, particularly tramadol.


“The whole average of drug abuse in nations is 5%. In Nigeria, it is getting to 15%. That is not a data or a statistic we should be happy with.”

He added that the federal government has also taken steps to address the challenge of manpower confronting the agency.

“On the part of the government, it has taken some steps to ameliorate some of the deficiencies of the agency. For a start, Mr President has authorised an upgrade on the staff strength of the agency,” he said.

“A staff strength of 5,000, without being told, is not a staff strength that can fight drugs the way it should be fought in Nigeria.


“Let me just mention three local governments – you know Mushin in Lagos, you know Fagge in Kano or even Nyanya in Abuja; I could deploy all of that strength to these places including me and there will still be some loopholes for trafficking and abuse to go on.

“That is why the president has approved the upgrade in phases. Following this will be logistics and equipment which come naturally with the upgrade of personnel.”


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