Customs Intercepts N21.6b Tramadol, Collects N212b Revenue in Apapa Port

The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it has impounded 143.8 million tablets of prohibited 225mg tramadol, which were discovered in 720 cartons weighing 10.3 tonnes last Friday.

The command’s Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Auwal Baba Mohammed, who disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday, said the illicit drugs were shipped into Nigeria from India.

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He said the seized tramadol tablets were concealed in two 40ft container numbers TRHU 4758549 and TRHU 6936803.

“This single seizure is valued at N21.6 billion,” he said.

The Controller also disclosed that the command collected the sum of N212.59 billion as revenue in the first quarter of the year.

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Seized rice

Mohammed said that the command made many other seizures in the first quarter of the year.

The seized items, according to him, include 14 containers comprising prohibited items such as vegetable oil, footwears, used clothing, unprocessed wood, and tramadol tablets with a Duty Paid Value of about N22.1 billion.

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Comptroller Auwal Mohammed (fourth from left) with Deputy Comptrollers I.N. Aliyu, F.O. Alagbo, E. Luka and A. Garba showing seizures to newsmen

“We are on the look-out for those behind such unlawful importation for arrest and very soon we will track them down to face the full wrath of the law. As a service, we owe Nigerians the duty to prevent this kind of importation from entering the market to safeguard the health of the citizenry.

“Let me use this opportunity to warn perpetrators of smuggling, duty evasion and other forms of criminality frowned upon by the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) and other extant laws, that Apapa Command will only facilitate legitimate trade,” he said.

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Uncovered tramadol in cartons

On export trade, he said the command processed agricultural goods such as sesame seeds, ginger, hibiscus, mineral resources, steel ingot and others with a total tonnage of 110,448 metric tonnes in the first quarter of 2023.

He added that statistics from the export report shows that the exported goods were worth N70.2 billion.

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Seized vegetable oil

“Since my assumption of duty here, I have been meeting with various stakeholder groups comprising importers, exporters, licensed agents, freight forwarders, and others. I am happy to note that these meetings are yielding good results and will be sustained in days ahead.

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“In this command, we have a deliberate culture of inter-agency collaboration with other government organisations. Within this first three months, I have enjoyed robust sharing of credible intelligence and support from other agencies of government” he said.

Other seizures shown to newsmen in the port include rice, used clothing, vegetable oil, drugs and footwear.

While reiterating that Apapa port is the only National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) approved area for importation of drugs, he said no medicanent without NAFDAC number will be allowed into the country.

The CAC advised importers and exporters to keep themselves a beast of federal government’s import and export prohibition lists

Mohammed said the drive for enlightenment will continually be improved upon to achieve more compliance as the command will sustain it’s tempo of zero tolerance for none compliance

Joshua Okoria

Joshua Okoria is a Lagos based multi-skilled journalist covering the maritime industry. His ICT and graphic design skills makes him a resourceful person in any modern newsroom. He read mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and has sharpened his knowledge in media practice from several other short courses. 07030562600,

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