The first negative effects of drugs began to manifest in early 60’s (Obot,1993), since then there has been a notable increase. To date, the drug problem in Nigeria has attracted both national and international concerns (Alernika, 1990, 1993; Atta, 1990; Obot 1993). Notably the market for drugs in Nigeria has grown substantially, the number of users in the core market has increased remarkably, so also the distribution system has expanded – new markets have opened up in different towns and villages.
The growth of the market, even in the face of high risk indicates the greater vitality of the enterprise. (Chamliss, 1977; Moore, 1977; Ibanga, 1998; Bassey, 1998). As described by Tirruner (1982), these drug enterprises comprise of a loose affiliation of businessman, politicians, union leaders and law enforcement officials who cooperate in the production and distribution of illegal goods and services for which there is a substantial consumer.
The returns from the sale of drugs are reinvested in drugs and the surplus profits are diversified into other businesses as well. One of the motivating factors for diversifying is the need to camouflage drug activities and their income. For a dealer to remain successful for any length of time he must diversify. These upper level dealers are usually entrepreneurs with a wide range of business interests in both sides of the law. This is why the rare arrest of a major drug dealer reveals a rather ordinary looking and ‘respectable’ businessman instead of a ‘merchant of death’.