The Tin Can Island Port command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted two container loads of the prohibited Tramadol tablets smuggled into the country from India.
This is coming few days after the Federal Government announced a ban on the importation of codeine syrup due to the gross abuse the drug has been subjected to in the country.
Controller of the Command, Musa Abdulahi who handed over the drugs to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Tuesday in Lagos, said the pharmaceutical products were falsely declared as electrical static converters and ciprofloxacin by the importer.
He said a suspect has been apprehended in connection with the seizure and investigation is ongoing to unravel those behind the import.
He said, “We are collaborating with NAFDAC and investigation is ongoing. We have gotten a suspect which is the agent and through him, I am sure we will get the importer and ensure they are prosecuted and thereafter the consignment will be destroyed.
“Those who are involved in this thing should stop because it is dangerous to our health. It is addictive and it can kill. We have to stand out against this. Just as the Federal Government has banned codeine, we expect this will happen to this drug quickly.
“The import is coming from India and for export only. I think the government can explore the diplomatic way with the Indian Government by trying to see how we can prevent the importation of this type of dangerous drugs into the country.”
Tramadol, an opioid analgesic, is usually prescribed to treat moderate to moderately severe pain and is considered a safer alternative to other narcotic analgesic like hydrocodone and methadone.
It is among the controlled drugs abused by some youths across the country causing unhealthy addiction and adverse side effects. It is believed to be fast selling and being shipped into the country through channels suspected to be unlawful.
The Customs Controller further disclosed that from January to April 2018, three containers of e-waste which are considered toxic to health and the environment, five containers of second hand clothing and a container of used tyres were intercepted by his men. He said the seized tyres have a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N124 million.
Musa said the command maintains cordial relationship with other relevant agencies at the port.
This, he said, had helped the command to easily track prohibited items.
He disclosed that the command, within the review period generated the sum of N104.5 billion as against a projection collection of the sum of N116 billion, recording a performance rate of 90.09 percent.
“A comparative analysis against collection of the previous year (2017) for the same period in the sum of N82.154 billion there is an improvement in the figure of about N22.68 billion which is equivalent to an improvement of about 27.61 percent.
“The improved collection so far has been driven by the establishment of standard operating procedure (SOP) and strong revenue drive achieved through blocking of area of revenue leakages,” he said.