News Brief

Nigeria Has Banned Cough Syrup With Codeine To Fight Addiction

Widespread abuse of codeine has led to a ban in Nigeria.

Nigeria has just announced a ban on the importation and production of cough syrup containing codeine, BBC reports.

This was after the BBC ran a documentary ran a documentary investigating the abuse of codeine. The documentary looks at codeine addiction and how it affects Nigerians (mostly young).


The Ministry of Health's assistant director of information, Olajide Oshundun, said the ban was months in the making. "Those that want to import the substance, it has been banned now. It is completely banned," he emphasized.

Nigeria's first lady Aisha Buhari expressed her concerns about drug addiction in the country. "I have noted with alarm the exponential rise of drug abuse in our country, especially in the North," she wrote in an Instagram post yesterday. "As a parent, I am deeply saddened by this fact, it is important that we interrupt the trend and encourage our children to stay drug free."

Codeine is not an unpopular drug among young people worldwide. You might have heard your favorite rappers—from Future to Lil Wayne, and other African rappers such as Emtee and A-Reece, among others—rapping about it.

According to the BBC, Nigeria's drug enforcement agency recently seized 24,000 bottles of codeine syrup from a lorry in Katsina.

While banning codeine to try fight addiction may be a good gesture, one wonders how effective it will be. A lot of illegal substances are being abused all over the world, thanks to the black market.

Some people on Twitter have weighed in on the ban, and present some interesting views.



Photo credit PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images

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