The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has seized a total of 13 containers of prohibited goods comprising 11 units of 40-foot containers loaded with Tramadol and other regulated drugs and two units of 20-foot containers laden with bales of used clothing items with a Duty Paid Value DPV of N3.1billion, all of which have been forfeited to the Federal Government.

The command also generated a total of N303.5billion between January and November 2018 despite the declining volume of imports as against the N253billion generated in the comparative period of 2017, a feat it attributed to the reforms put in place by the current management at the command, especially in the areas of under payment, under valuation, value transfer, concealment and falsification of import documents, among several others.

Deputy Comptroller General of the service in charge of Excise, Industrial and Incentives, DCG Austin Chidi, who briefed newsmen on the seizures at the command Friday, disclosed that a total of 11 pieces of 40-foot containers and two pieces of 20-foot containers laden with Tramadol tablets and Cyprofloxacin Capsules were seized.

Others include cartons of Diclofenac Sodium tablets, Soffeathe IV Cannule, Sildencfil Citrate tables, bleaching soaps and some bales of clothing materials were laden in the 13 containers, all of which have been handed over to the officials of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Safety Agency NAFDAC and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA for further action.

It was gathered that while the two containers of the regulated drugs had been handed over to the NAFDAC officials on October 11 and 20 respectively, one container of Tramadol had also been handed over to the officials of the NDLEA since on November 2, 2018.

The DCG also said that the container of soap suspected to contain some harmful bleaching ingredients and two containers of bales of used clothing materials contravened sections 46 and 161 of the Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA CAP45LFN 2004, even as all the seizures in violation of the absolute prohibition list of the Common External Tariff CET 2015-2019.

He said: “The Nigeria Customs Service wishes to reiterate its concerns for the health and security of Nigerian and one would better imagine the devastating effects on the lives of the nation’s youths if these quantities of unwholesome drugs had found their way into the market, not only will it lead to increase in insecurity but will impact negatively on the health of the youths.

“We therefore wish to re-assure the nation that the service will not renege on carrying out its mandate irrespective of its circumstances. We also want to appreciate the robust synergy and collaboration of critical stakeholders and other sister security agencies operating at the command, which provided a veritable platform for the seizures and other giant strides by the command”, the DCG said.

He commended the officers and men of the command led by the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Musa Abdullahi for their patriotism and zeal, which led to the seizures and urged them to keep the flag flying at all times.

Recall that the command under Comptroller Abdullahi had in line with the presidential directive on the ease of doing business introduced some operational reforms designed to enhance trade facilitation, especially in the area of one-stop-shop resolution of all alerts, institution of Dispute Resolution Committee, which deals expeditiously with trade disagreements arising from valuation and Pre-Arrival Assessment Report PAAR, among several others.

Meanwhile Comptroller Abdullahi, which chatting with newsmen on the sideline of the seizures, urged newsmen and other members of the public to always avail the service with information, insisting that no information should be ignored or taken for granted.

He regretted that the illegal importation of these harmful drugs into the country is gradually tearing the fabric of the Nigerian society apart, any many youths including house wives are currently getting addicted, a battle that must be fought by every patriotic Nigerian citizen.