The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has destroyed 58 containers of banned tramadol and other illicit drugs worth N14.7 billion intercepted by its operatives at various Customs formation in Lagos and other parts of the country.
The destruction exercise was jointly carried out by the NCS, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other sister agencies.
Speaking at the flag- off of the destruction exercise at the Sagamu dump site, Ogun State recently , Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, who was represented by the Assistant Comptroller General of Customs in charge of Zone ‘A’ Kaycee Ekekezie, condemned the activities of deviants who smuggle banned drugs and other harmful substances into the country.
Ali lamented the harmful effect the seized drugs would have caused if it had gone into circulation, stating that the money that could have been channeled for the welfare of the citizenry is rather being wasted.
He added: “I am standing here with mixed feelings because money that should have been used for better productive purposes will be destroyed. People should never see smuggling as a trade. It is a crime. The menace of such drugs in our society cannot be underestimated having caused huge negative impact both on our economy as a whole and the depreciation and danger to human life.”
While appealing to Nigerians to join hands with the Service to fight the menace of drug abuse in the country, he urged importers to take advantage of the Customs portal and be sure of the status of what they want to import to guide against importation of restricted items into the country.
Said he: “I call on all and sundry to assist officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and other relevant security and regulatory agencies by providing real time information at all times to help fish out the perpetrators of this negative act of smuggling dangerous drugs and bring them to justice.”
Also speaking at the event, Chairman of the joint committee, Assistant Comptroller General (ACG), in charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Aminu Dahiru, said most of the violent crimes like robbery, kidnapping, banditry and other associated crimes are linked to consumption of illicit drugs.