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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.



Image via TONL.

Uganda Has Lost Millions of Internet Users as a Result of Its Controversial Social Media Tax

The infamous tax is effectually driving Ugandans off the internet.

The number of internet users in Uganda has declined significantly since the implementation of the highly-criticized tax on social media, which went into effect in July of last year.

While the government claimed that the tax would assist in raising government revenue and help "maintain the security of the country and extend electricity so that you people can enjoy more of social media, more often, more frequently," said Uganda's Finance Minister Matia Kasaija at the time. President Museveni also suggested that the tax would help "curb gossip" online.

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Cover art for Riky Rick's "You and I"

The 14 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Riky Rick, Mr Eazi, Moonchild Sanelly, Burna Boy, Blinky Bill, Niniola and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.

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Literature
Image courtesy of Doubleday.

Oyinkan Braithwaite's 'My Sister the Serial Killer' Is the Lagos-Set Novel Rocking the Crime Thriller Genre

We speak with the Nigerian author about the success of her debut novel, and breaking the boundaries of "African Lit."

"I have always been drawn to dark topics," says Oyinkan Braithwaite, the 30-year-old Nigerian author behind the critical darling of a novel My Sister, the Serial Killer.

Her declaration helps explain the subject and title of her debut novel, which tells the story of Ayoola, a young woman who has developed a not-so-healthy habit of murdering her boyfriends, leaving her older sister, the book's protagonist, Korede to clean up her mess. You may have noticed it's ubiquitous cover—which features a young black woman wearing a headwrap, casually looking on as a knife-wielding hands is reflected in her sunglasses—on your timeline or at your local store. The internationally-released, Nigerian-made novel sits confidently on retail shelves previously reserved for mass-market thrillers.

The dark and humorous, Lagos-set novel is extreme—but not just because of all the murdering that happens. It also examines the extreme nature of the many things that can push people to the edge. For the sisters, it's: intergenerational trauma, abuse, the prevalence of a culture that rewards beauty above all else, as well as having to battle with their own personal shortcomings—just to name a few.

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