Drugs and Organized Crime

Nigeria is a transit point for heroin and cocaine intended for European, East Asian, and North American markets. Since 2004 drug traffickers have been increasingly using West African countries, including Nigeria, for smuggling large amounts of cocaine from South America into Europe and North America. The country has a relatively high rate of drug abuse due to the continued availability of illicitly manufactured and diverted pharmaceutical products containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The most abused drug in West Africa is cannabis, mainly in its herbal form. Cannabis is locally produced all over the region and is therefore affordable.

In support of the Government of Nigeria, UNODC is implementing a European Union funded project, Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria.

Response to Drug and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria

Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria is a 53-month (January 2013-May 2017) European Union (EU) funded project being implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to support Nigeria's efforts to tackle drug-related challenges using a multi-faceted approach.

Project Objective

The objective of the project is to support the Nigerian Government in its efforts to fight illicit drug production, trafficking and use, and to curb related organized crime, including counterfeit narcotics and psychotropic substances.

Project States

Project activities are delivered at the federal level, in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja and the 36 states of Nigeria.

Project outcomes

The project has three key outcomes, which are further divided into outputs.



Information and evidence base on drug use, drug crime and policy impact are improved and used for policy and programming.

Output 1.1:  Conduct baseline studies, gap analysis, capacity analysis; prepare work plans and finalize log frame including indicators/targets and procurement plans.

Output 1.2: Conduct full-scale national surveys on cannabis production and drug use, with counterpart capacity built to conduct similar exercises.

Output 1.3: Conduct detailed qualitative studies and assessments of drug trafficking and use, including narcotics and psychotropic substances, drug related crime, organized crime groups and networks, and the associated threats at the national, regional and international levels.

Output 1.4: Support the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the formulation and implementation of the new National Drug Control Master Plan (2015-2019) following an integrated, multi-disciplinary and balanced approach (demand and supply side).

Output 1.5: Advice on aligning relevant legislation in Nigeria with treaty requirements, human rights and international best practice, removing contradictions in existing legislation and reviewing the proportionality of penalties.

Output 1.6: Capacity for setting up of regular consultations with policy makers, journalists, health professionals and academic audiences, and consistent outreach through multiple media to reach all relevant stakeholders strengthened.

Output 1.7: Support Nigerian experts to participate in and contribute to national and international conferences, training, study tours and publications.



Enhanced technical and operational capacity in frontline agencies and services, leading to targeted interventions on drugs and related organized crime in Nigeria as well as improved internal scrutiny processes.

Output 2.1: Conduct baseline studies, gap analysis, mapping and specific needs assessments, capacity analysis; prepare work plans and finalize log frame including indicators and targets and procurement plans (inception phase).

Output 2.2: Support to the development and implementation of the institutional strategy for the Nigerian drug law enforcement and regulatory agencies, including standard operating procedures, case management, etc.

Output 2.3: Inter-agency training exercises for relevant law enforcement agencies on investigations, intelligence analysis and other key skills.

Output 2.4: Cooperation and joint operations between Nigeria, ECOWAS and EU Member States supported.

Output 2.5: Setting up of recording, sharing, and analysis of information supported by training, provision of hardware and software, etc. to support regular inter-agency information sharing at command level.

Output 2.6: Expert advice and support to the cooperation, coordination and exchange of information between NDLEA, NFIU and SCUML on anti-money-laundering.

Output 2.7: Technical support and advice for improved seaport and airport controls through closer cooperation between relevant law enforcement agencies, including provision of training and equipment.

Output 2.8: Strengthened witness protection in relevant LEAs, and support to reviewing the draft law and drafting of administrative guidelines and SOPs for witness protection.

Output 2.9: Advise on legal aid provision and due process for drug arrestees, and support to Judiciary for the prosecution and adjudication of drug cases.

Output 2.10: Training of community groups in dealing with drug-related incidents.

Output 2.11: Review of human rights standards and development of relevant training tools for law enforcement officers.

Output 2.12: Support to enhance operational capacities  of the Police, Customs, Immigration and NDLEA in drug interdiction.

Output 2.13: Technical support and advice to NAFDAC for improved narcotics and psychotropic substances estimates, control and availability for medical and scientific purpose.



The capacity to manage drug treatment, rehabilitation and prevention is improved through the creation of a reliable network of quality drug treatment service providers available for drug users.

Output 3.1: Conduct baseline studies, gap analysis, mapping and specific needs assessments, capacity analysis; prepare work plans and finalize log frame including indicators and targets and procurement plans (inception phase).

Output 3.2: Expert advice and support to review the cooperation between NDLEA, the Ministry of Health and other actors on drug prevention, treatment and care.

Output 3.3: Policy advice and support to the preparation of policy guidelines, minimum standards, and training manuals for drug prevention, treatment and care.

Output 3.4: Technical support for the implementation of these policy guidelines, (as per 3.3) minimum standards, and training manuals for drug prevention, treatment and care.

Output 3.5: Direct support to civil society organizations working on drug prevention, treatment and care.

Output 3.6: Provision of equipment for centers and training of drug treatment professionals.

Output 3.7: Support to improve routine data collection and case reporting by statutory and CSO treatment providers.

Output 3.8: Sensitization on the nature of drug use, drug dependence and drug prevention, treatment and care for law enforcement agencies operatives and the general public.

Output 3.9: Promotion of and training/building skills for 'healthy lifestyles' in schools, families and communities.



Key partners for the project are:

  • National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
  • National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
  • The Nigeria Police Force (NPF)
  • Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)
  • Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS)
  • Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH)
  • Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ)
  • The Judiciary
  • Civil society organizations (CSOs)



The European Union is providing EUR 34,500,000 to implement this project.



Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria

Project Support Unit Office

NDLEA Headquarters

4 Onilegbale Road, Ikoyi, Lagos

E-Mail: drugsresponsenigeria@unodc.org

Website: www.unodc.org/nigeria