Nigeria Tops List of African Countries in Cocaine Smuggling” – UNODC Report

Nigeria Tops List of African Countries in Cocaine Smuggling" - UNODC Report

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released its Global Report on Cocaine 2023, which highlights Nigeria as the top cocaine smuggling region in Africa. According to the report, the significant growth in the supply of cocaine in Nigeria has been matched by a similar surge in demand. The UN agency explains that Nigerian traffickers often work collaboratively with their counterparts in other countries, especially members of “cult groups” in European destination countries and those operating in Brazil.

The report indicates that based on aggregate reporting to UNODC by Nigeria and other countries, cocaine trafficking from Nigeria to 20 countries or territories was reported during 2018-2021. These countries include Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Algeria, Ethiopia, Morocco, Australia, China, Hong Kong, China, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Turkiye, United Kingdom, and other European countries. Cocaine enters Nigeria through various channels, such as bulk carrier vessels arriving at seaports like Apapa, Tincan Island, and Onne; passenger flights into airports such as Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, and Kano; land borders at various locations, including Seme (on the border with Benin) and llela (on the border with Niger); and via parcels delivered by courier companies or postal services.

The report further states that Brazil is the primary departure country for cocaine reaching Nigeria. Despite the established and well-connected presence of Nigerian traffickers within an international network of actors and counterparts trafficking cocaine (and other drugs), particularly with regard to trafficking by air, the available seizure data indicates that the volume of cocaine transiting Nigerian territory is a relatively modest share of the quantities reaching West and Central Africa. However, it is important to bear in mind that Nigerian traffickers are also active in neighboring countries as well as North Africa.

The report also identifies Morocco as the second-largest drug trafficking market in Africa. UNODC’s executive director, Ghada Waly, warned that the potential for the cocaine market to expand in Africa is a “dangerous reality” and urged governments to examine the report’s findings closely and determine how to tackle the threats posed by drug trafficking.

In conclusion, the UNODC report highlights Nigeria as the top cocaine smuggling region in Africa and raises concerns about the growth potential of the cocaine market on the continent. It underscores the need for governments to work together to combat drug trafficking and implement effective measures to prevent drug abuse and related criminal activities.


Leave a reply