The seizure is not without risks; a senior customs officer was trailed by smugglers and warned to desist from destroying their business or face the consequences
The Nigeria Customs Service has destroyed 58 containers of tramadol and other prohibited drugs worth N14.7bn.
The officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESRA) carried out the exercise on Wednesday in Ogun State, according to Punch newspaper.
Hameed Ali, the Comptroller General of the NCS, said the seized drugs were intercepted at various Customs formations across the country.
He spoke through Kathleen Ekekezie, the Zonal Coordinator of Zone A, during the burning of the drugs.
He said: “The menace of such drugs in our society cannot be underestimated. Having caused huge negative impact both on the economy and human lives, it is imperative that it must be swiftly curtailed.
“I call on all and sundry to assist our officers and other relevant agencies by providing real-time information at all times to help fish out the perpetrators of this negative act of smuggling dangerous drugs.”
Aminu Dahiru, Assistant Comptroller General of Customs in charge of Enforcement and Drugs, said the idea of forming a team came from Ali who had stressed the need for synergy between government agencies aiding Customs in the fight against the importation of dangerous drugs.
Dahiru, who is the Chairman, Joint Committee on Destruction of Seized Tramadol and other Pharmaceutical Products, said the seizure was in line with the Federal Government’s vision to rid Nigeria of dangerous drugs.
He added that the seizure had helped in stemming the spate of kidnapping, armed robbery, terrorism and other social vices.
He said over 50 per cent of drugs seized in the country were confiscated in the South-West.
According to Dahiru, the destruction will continue in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Bauchi in the next two weeks.
“The seizure is not without risks; a senior customs officer was trailed by smugglers and warned to desist from destroying their business or face the consequences,” he said.
Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General, NAFDAC, who was represented by Monica Eimunjeze, the Director, Registration and Regulatory Affairs Directorate, noted that the abuse of drugs was a serious issue in Nigeria and had far-reaching implications on health.
She said: “This committee has a specific duty, the destruction of tramadol.
50mg to 100mg of tramadol is the approved requirement for importation; importation of any dosage higher than that is prohibited.
“However, you see people importing 225mg like the one we are destroying today. At a very high dosage, when abused, the drug impacts on society in a very dangerous way.”
Dapo Abiodun, Ogun State Governor, who was represented by Olufemi Afilolu, the Director (Pharmaceuticals), Ministry of Health, said the seizure of the drugs was in the best interest of the country.
He urged more collaboration between government agencies, security agencies and stakeholders, saying, “You don’t know whose child could get involved in drugs.”