By LOD Onyeji
In a recent development, the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has made a significant seizure of 23 packages of tramadol worth N1.8 billion, highlighting their commitment to combating illicit activities at the airport. The seized pharmaceutical products, originating from India and Pakistan, pose a significant threat to public health and safety. The Customs Area Comptroller, Mohammed Yusuf, revealed this during a news conference held in Lagos on Wednesday.
The intercepted items included 22 packets of tramadol tablets with a strength of 225mg each, along with 12 packets of tablets containing 120mg of tramadol. These seizures were a result of intelligence-driven operations conducted within the airport, demonstrating the NCS’s vigilance and dedication to upholding the law.
To ensure a collaborative approach in safeguarding the nation’s youth and the environment from the harmful effects of such substances, Yusuf stated that the confiscated tramadol tablets would be handed over to the Commander of Narcotics at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Command of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). This inter-departmental cooperation emphasizes the importance of joint efforts in protecting the welfare of Nigerian citizens.
In addition to intercepting illegal imports, the Nigeria Customs Service has also been instrumental in promoting export activities to bolster the country’s foreign exchange earnings. During the reviewed period, the MMA Command recorded an impressive export value of goods amounting to N100.93 billion. These exports encompassed both non-commercial and commercial food items, with a total weight of 653 tonnes and a Free On Board (FOB) value of N4.81 billion.
Highlighting the command’s commitment to revenue generation, Comptroller Yusuf revealed that a total of N21.4 billion was generated during the period under review. This figure represents a remarkable increase compared to the corresponding period in 2022 when the command generated N17.5 billion. The 21.97 percent growth in revenue underscores the command’s effectiveness in facilitating legitimate trade while curbing illicit activities.
The revenue activities of the command encompass various aspects, including the importation and exportation of legitimate goods, as well as goods falling under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS). Such broad engagement ensures a comprehensive approach to trade facilitation while ensuring adherence to regulations and protocols.
Comptroller Yusuf expressed his gratitude to the valued partners involved in the clearance value chain, recognizing their unwavering support. He also urged them to remain prepared for emerging challenges and to continue collaborating in the collective effort to propel the nation forward. The command’s commitment to an open-door policy and proactive stakeholder engagement has enabled the resolution of numerous issues of mutual interest, fostering a conducive business environment.
As the Nigeria Customs Service remains steadfast in its mission to protect public safety and enhance revenue generation, the recent seizure of tramadol at the Murtala Muhammed Airport serves as a testament to their unwavering dedication. Through their efforts, the NCS continues to contribute significantly to the nation’s security, economic growth, and overall welfare of its citizens.