By Chidubem Anthony
Barely 24 hours after it unveiled 40x40ft containers of tramadol worth N7.32 billion at the Apapa Port, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced the interception of another 13 containers of tramadol with an approximate Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N3.1 billion.
The contraband, intercepted by the Customs TinCan Island Port Command, also included other pharmaceutical drugs, bleaching soap and used clothes.
Speaking in Lagos, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), disclosed that the tramadol was imported from India, just as the shipments seized at the Apapa port the previous day.
Ali, who was represented by the Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, Enforcement, Mr. Austin Chidi, disclosed that 11 of the 13 containers contained tramadol and other drugs, while one was laden with soap suspected to contain harmful bleaching ingredients and the other, used clothes.
Noting that the seized items contravened the absolute prohibition list of CET 2015-2019, Ali declared that the agency’s impediments notwithstanding, the seizures, due to increased surveillance on declarations, have renewed the officers’ resolve to tackle trade infractions.
He reassured Nigerians of the agency’s commitment to boosting trade, stating that the drugs would have done unimaginable damage to the health of the nation had they entered the market.
Against this background, the agency reiterated concern for the health and security of Nigerians, adding: “One would better imagine the devastating effect on the lives of our youth if this quantity of unwholesome drugs had found its way into the market.
“Not only would it lead to increased insecurity but also have impacted negatively the health of our youth. We wish to reassure the nation that the Nigeria Customs Service will not renege on its mandate irrespective of the circumstances.”