The Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) in a synergies operation with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) destroyed 58 containers of Tramadol tablets with duty paid value (dpv) of N14,706,032,871.00.
The destruction of this harmful smuggled drugs which had over four different brands and seized across south west zone of Nigeria, took place on Wednesday in Sagamu dump site, Ogun State.
Representing the Controller General of Customs, CG Hameed Ali, the Assistant Comptroller General in charge of Zone A, .ACG Kaycee Ekekezie, disclosed that the service is directly suppressing violent crimes in Nigeria with sustained fight against smuggling of illicit drugs into the country.
While congratulating members of the joint committee for their diligence in conducting the assignment, she disclosed that the seized items to be destroyed were intercepted at various customs formations across the country. The menace of such drugs in the society cannot be underestimated, having caused huge negative impact both on the economy as a whole and the depreciation and danger to human life.
She however call on members of the society to assist officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and other relevant security and regulatory agencies by providing genuine information at all times to help track down the economy saboteurs perpetrating the act of smuggling dangerous drugs so as to bring them to book.
She added that People should never see smuggling as a trade but rather a crime . she urge all importers to take advantage of the customs portal and be sure of the status of whatever they want to import so as to prevent destruction of money that should have been used for better productive purposes.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of the joint committee on Destruction of Seized Drugs (Tramadol ) Consignments,Assistant Controller of Customs, Aminu Dahiru, warned offenders to desist from such illicit acts.
According to him, the event symbolizes yet another milestone in the history of NCS in its effort to deliver on its mandate of reducing smuggling to the lowest minimum as well as contribution to free the country from fake, substandard, unregistered and abuse of controlled drug.
The seizures of these harmful drugs, Dahiru said have in no small way prevented the occasion of many kind of social vices such as kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry and other associated crimes facing the country today.
In his words “We are starting the destruction here because of the high volume of seizures made in the South West where a lot of Customs activities take place, we shall be doing similar destructions in Poet Harcourt, Kaduna and Bauchi where we have customs zones. Residents and stakeholders in these areas should await our invitations soon.
” These drug seizures were made in the face of attacks, maiming, killings and other unwarranted provocations, even as we are here,some of our anti smuggling officers have been receiving threats for their exploits. Smugglers of these drugs are unhappy because we stopped them from making money through destruction of lives.
“Our men come under threat severally for their uncompromising posture in the fight against smuggling of any kind and we will never compromise” he quipped.
He added that the drugs set to be destroyed constitute just a meagre number among the numerous seizures already handed over to NAFDAC and NDLEA for destruction in the past.
Also speaking at the event, Director General of NAFDAC, represented by director, Registration & Regulatory Affairs, Monica Eimunjeze, advocates for collaboration between security agencies and the public to rid it of hard drugs.
“We have something to do in controlling the use of this Tramadol in our society. See billions of Naira going down the drain, money that would been used to build our country. This event today speaks our minds that, we say no to bringing in of hard drugs, we say no to importation of substandard drugs and we say no to destroyed society,” she said.
The approved milligrams for tramadol according to her is 50 and 100 milligrams while the higher milligrams above 100 are prohibited, the destroyed drugs are of 250, 500 and 1000 milligrams.