Apapa Customs averts major health disaster
.Intercepts 4 containers of pharmaceutical products from India
By Udeme Clement
Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service ,NCS, was the beehive of activities in Lagos yesterday, as the Command averted what would have been a major health disaster in the country, by intercepting four 40ft containers fully loaded with pharmaceutical products, imported into the country from India, without appropriate certification from National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration and Control ,NAFDAC.
The massive seizure of ‘controlled drugs’,mostly Tramadol Hydrochloride Tablets, made by Apapa Customs, which left everyone including newsmen astonished is coming just few months after the same Command seized many containers of drugs imported into the country without NAFDAC number.
Briefing Journalists at the Enforcement Unit of the Command where the mind boggling items were displayed, the Customs Area Controller ,CAC, of Apapa, Comptroller Jibrin Musa, who frowned at the large importation of the drugs, disclosed that the seizure of the large number of drugs was made possible through credible intelligence from the Customs Intelligence Unit ,CIU, of his Command.
The CAC explained that seizure of the drugs became necessary based on four infractions, which include, lack of appropriate certification from the agency regulating pharmaceutical items in the country, false declaration of the items, concealment, importation of the items on a very large scale.
Expressing strong displeasure on incessant importation of drugs into the country and the adverse consequences on the entire society, he said, “Imagine if these number of drugs had escaped into the country, the level of damage capable of causing, especially to our youths, who are most vulnerable to drug addiction. Importers must realise the dangers of bringing in these drugs to the country. Let everyone be patriotic and stop doing things that will bring serious damage to our nation and the health of Nigerians”.
“Giving more details about the seizure, he pointed out, “On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, our Command based on intelligence seized 3X40ft containers imported into the country by Villa Gold Pharmacy from India. Upon examination, we found large number of pharmaceutical products that are controlled and regulated from importation into Nigeria. The container numbers are, MRSU 3637149, MRKU 6196764 and MRSU 3516384.
“The MRSU 3637149 contains 936 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride Tablets (225mg), 56 cartons of Colistop Chlorpheniramine Maleate Capsules (4mg). The MRKU 6196764 contains 368 cartons of Tramadol capsules BP (120mg), 192 cartons of Tramadol capsules (250mg) and 160 cartons of Dobumol Anagestic. The MRSU 3516384 contains 554 cartons of Tramadol capsules BP (120mg) and 176 cartons of Col-cap.
Similarly, on February 7, 2018, we intercepted another 1x40ft container with number MRKU 6058282 suspected to carry prohibited drugs. Upon examination, we found 200 Capsules of Tramadol (225mg), 330 cartons of Ibramol, Chest and Lungs Tablets (15mg), 198 cartons of Col-cap Capsules (4mg) and 453 cartons fo Rally Extra (50mg). The Duty Paid Value ,DPV, of the 4X40ft containers of drugs seized is N110million”.
He went on, “Consequent upon this huge seizure 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. This could have further aggravated the already tensed situation in the country. One person was arrested in connection with the seized drugs. Investigation is still on-going as the items would be handed over to the appropriate agency”.
(This is the first segment of the report, the second aspect on revenue generation of Apapa Command and its level of compliance with the new Executive Order, on ease of doing business will be published as Sunday analysis.)
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