A press release from the media department of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, reveals that over 229 Nigerian citizens were deported from various countries for drug trafficking and drug-related offences in the past year.

The head of the Media and Publicity of the agency, Mitchel Ofoyeju, noted that apart from those arrested and deported, the number of Nigerians in foreign prisons, with some awaiting execution, has been growing by the day, despite sensitization by the body.

Ofoyeju also said that arrests by the agency at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, in the past two years, rose by 16.22 per cent, while drug seizures decreased by 33.68 per cent.

This indices, he attributed to the desperate and devious means by the traffickers to beat the agency by all means, not learning any lesson from the arrest of others, and also an indicator that operatives of NDLEA are becoming more vigilant in arresting drug traffickers.

The increase in the arrest in 2014, is also a pointer that there is a steady increase in drug traffickers passing through MMIA.

According to Ofoyeju, the Airport Command of the NDLEA in 2014 apprehended 129 suspected drug traffickers, comprising 118 males and 11 females with 436.065kg of drug seizures.

In 2013, the agency apprehended 93 drug suspects with 878.81kg of narcotics.

The breakdown of the 2014 scorecard indicates that cocaine has the largest quantity with 120.44kg. Methamphetamine is next with 108.645kg, cannabis sativa (107.855kg), heroin (51.01kg), psychotropic substances (37.285kg) and ephedrine (10.83kg). The estimated street value of the seized drugs in 2014 is N2.9 billion.

NDLEA Commander at the MMIA, Hamza Umar, said that 117 drug suspects were apprehended on 18 airlines.

"More arrests of drug suspects were made on Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, South African and Qatar Airways.

A total of 44 suspects were apprehended trying to import narcotics into the country. South Africa, China and United Arab Emirates top the list of preferred destinations by suspects. The command received 229 persons who were deported on drug related charges."

Of the 229 drug deportees, 39 came from Italy, 37 from the United States, 36 from Spain, 31 from Norway and 22 from Thailand.

Others are Saudi Arabia, 14, Switzerland, 13, France, 7, United Arab Emirates, 5, Greece, 4, while Brazil and Sweden deported 3 persons each.

Australia, India and South Africa deported 2 persons each while Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Indonesia, Ireland, Portugal, Turkey Uganda and United Kingdom deported 1 person each.