The Apapa Area command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted four 40-foot containers carrying 2250 cartons of prohibited milligrams of Tramadol tablets and other regulated pharmaceutical products.
According to the Area Controller, Comptroller Jibrin Musa, the drugs which were from India were imported by one Villa Gold Pharmacy.
Musa who briefed journalists on the seizures on Monday stated that the prohibited cum regulated drugs had a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of over N110 million.
Speaking on the seizures, the Comptroller disclosed that the seizures were made based on credible intelligence from the Customs Intelligence Unit, Apapa Command.
He also revealed that one suspect had been arrested.
Giving a comprehensive breakdown of the seizures, Comptroller Musa said, “I am glad to inform you that we have started the year 2018 on a very positive and optimistic note especially in our anti-smuggling drive and revenue collection efforts.
“On Tuesday, February 6th 2018 based on credible Inteligence from Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) Apapa Command , three 40 foot containers with Nos MRSU 3637149, MRKU 6196764 and MRSU 3516384 imported by one Villa Gold Pharmacy from India were suspected to contain different pharmaceutical products /drugs which are controlled and regulated from importation into Nigeria.
“The drugs include: 936 cartons of Tramodol Hydrochloride tablet(225mg), 56 cartons of Collstop Chlorpheniramine Maleate Capsule (4mg), 368 cartons of Tramadol capsules BP (120mg), 192 cartons of Tramadol capsules (250mg), 160 cartons of Dobumol Anagestic, 554 cartons of Tramadol capsules BP(120mg) and 176 cartons of Col-cap.
“Similarly on February 7th 2018 another one 40foot container MRKU 6058282 suspected to be laden with prohibited drugs was arrested and found to contain: 200 cartons of Tramadol (225mg), 330 cartons of Ibramol, Chest and Lungs tablets(15mg), 198 cartons of Col -caps capsules (4mg) and 453 cartons of Rally Extra (50mg).”
He also said “The duty paid value of the four 40foot containers stood at . N110,016,524.00”
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Lamenting the influx of the regulated drugs as well as the after usage effect, the Comptroller said. ” Consequent upon this, and worried by the Present level of insecurity in the country, one wonders what negative impact would have resulted in the aftermath of these drugs finding their way into the larger society.
“These could have further aggravated the already tensed situation in the country.”
He further disclosed that the arrested suspect had been granted administrative bail while investigation is ongoing.
On revenue generation, Comptroller Musa said the command also took off on a good note as it had collected over N31.15 Billion as revenue for January alone.
In his words, ” the command made a total sum of N31,015,084,626.85 as revenue for January. This is against the N25,958,919,218.73 collected in January 2017. This shows an increase of over N5.1 billion.”
He maintained that the high revenue generated for just January was proof that the command could meet up with its annual target for 2018 which is N426 billion or N35.5 billion monthly.
“Judging by the way we started, I believe God Willing we will do everything within the confines of law to meet and even surpass the 2018 annual target.”
He also hinted stakeholders that the NICIS II training which was flagged off in other commands of the service will soon take off and the software is about to be deployed into the Apapa Area Command.
He said, “the Idea is by the time the software become fully operational, we would have blocked almost all revenue leakages thereby increasing not only our revenue profile but compliance level. I therefore call on all stakeholders who operate within the larger value chain to fully embrace the new application which is faster, more efficient, all a encompassing and will provide opportunity for seamless cargo clearance. ”
He also admonished stakeholders to imbibe the culture of total and willful compliance with the Federal Government Fiscal Policy measures for the economic growth and development of the nation.