Poised to continually rid the nation of illicit drugs, smuggled into the country by unscrupulous citizens, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in conjunction with the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Thursday set ablaze about 58 containers of illegally imported tramadol and other illicit drugs worth N14.7 billion.
The Customs operatives had intercepted the smuggled drugs at various points in Lagos and other parts of the country, which warranted the need for the destruction of the hard drugs.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, who condemned the activities of smugglers who import banned drugs and other harmful substances into Nigeria, imagined the degree of harm the illicit drugs would have caused the populace, if allowed to circulate.
The Customs boss who was represented by Assistant Comptroller-General in charge of Zone ‘A’, Kaycee Ekekezie, said at the Sagamu dumpsite, Ogun State that smuggling is a crime, and people should desist from seeing it as a trade. He further bemoaned the activities of the smugglers, counting the magnitude of its negative impact on the economy and the depreciation and danger to human life.
While urging Nigerians to cooperate with the Customs in fighting the monster of drug abuse to a standstill, he appealed to importers who usually claim ignorance of the status of their containers as at loading time to use the Customs portal in ascertaining the status of their goods is in compliance with the laws of the land.
In her contribution, the Director, Registration & Regulatory Affairs of NAFDAC, Monica Eimunjeze, lauded the Customs effort in preventing the smuggling of hard drugs into Nigeria even as she advocated collaboration between security agencies and the public to rid the society of hard drugs.
The NAFDAC Director, who enlightened the people at the dumpsite on regulations on the importation of tramadol said the approved milligram for tramadol MTN (7513- 2596 – 6890 -28783) is 50mg and 100mg while higher milligrams of above 100 are prohibited.
She therefore urged every citizen to join in the advocacy against drug abuse in the society, as billions of naira has gone down the drain due to the importation of hard drugs, arguing that such money would have been invested in more meaning businesses for the benefit of the masses and the nation as a whole
Chairman of the joint committee, Assistant Comptroller-General (ACG), in charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Customs, Aminu Dahiru, blamed the increase in violent crimes like robbery, kidnapping, banditry, m on the consumption of illicit drugs.
He disclosed that the destruction exercise was just a fraction among the numerous seizures already handed over to NAFDAC and NDLEA for destruction in the past. However, he noted that these quantities of seizures recorded by officers have not been without some cost on a series of threats, attacks, maiming and even killing of officers.