The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted four pieces of 40-foot containers of banned and regulated pharmaceutical products including Tramadol Hydrochloride tablets, Collstop Chlorpheniramine, Dobumol Analgestic, Ibramol, Chest and Lung tablets, Col-caps capsules and Rally Extra illegally imported from India.

The seizure of the four containers with registration numbers MRSU 3637149, MRKU 6196764, MRSU 3516384 and MRKU 6058282 imported by one Villa Gold Pharmacy from India, followed credible intelligence report of the Customs Intelligent Unit CIU, of the command.

The Customs Area Controller in charge of the Apapa Command, Comptroller Jibrin Musa, who briefed news men on the seizures, Monday in Lagos, also said that one suspect has been arrested in connection with the illegal importation and granted administrative bail while investigations are on, even as the command collected a total of N31.015billion revenue for the month of January, 2018.

This represents an increase of over N5.1billion compared to the N25.95billion collected in the corresponding period of last year. Recall that the command was given a revenue target of N426billion for the 2018 fiscal year, which translates to N35.5billion per month.

Details of the seizures show that the four containers were laden with a total of 2, 250 cartons of the regulated tramadol comprising 1, 139 cartons of 225 mg, 922 cartons of the 120mg and 192 cartons of 250mg.

Other details include 56 cartons of four mg Collstop Chlorpheniramine Maleate capsules, 160 cartons of Dobumol Analgestic, 374 cartons of Col-caps capsuls, 330 cartons of Ibramol and 453 cartons of Rally Extra four milligramme, with a total of duty paid value of N110.016million.

The Controller, who expressed worries over the possible negative impacts of such dangerous drugs if allowed to enter into the markets said: “Consequent upon this and the current level of insecurity in Nigeria, one begins to wonder what negative impact this would have had on the larger society. These drugs would have further aggravated the already tensed situation in the country”.

He however warned importers of such illegal and regulated drugs that the officers and men of the command are always on red alert and would promptly intercept and seize any such consignment routed through the command.

He also disclosed that the command is concluding plans to install the software that would facilitate the introduction of the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System NICIS, which is in line with the World Customs Organisation’s standards with a view enhancing efficiency in cargo processing at the command

“Let me also further use this opportunity to inform our teeming stakeholders that the NICIS II training, which was flagged off in other commands of the service will soon takeoff here and the software is about to be deployed into Apapa Area Command. We believe that by the time the software becomes fully operational, we would have blocked almost all revenue leakages thereby increasing not only our revenue profile but also increase the compliance level. I therefore call on all stakeholders, who operate within the larger value chain to embrace this new application, which is faster, more efficient and all-encompassing and will provide opportunities for seamless cargo clearance”, the Comptroller also said.

He also enjoined stakeholders to imbibe honesty and transparency in their trade practices in order to make the cargo clearance processes faster and more efficient in the overall interest of the national economy.