FOU ‘A’ Customs Seizes Unmarked Drugs Worth N2.8bn, Warns Citizens of Negative Effects

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Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu, in charge of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, has warned citizens on the grave danger of unmarked drugs to public health and safety.

Comptroller Ejibunu gave the warning during a press briefing at the Unit’s headquarters on Friday, 5 April 2024.

According to him, consumption of unmarked drugs poses a grave threat to public health and safety, as their origins and compositions are unknown.

He said, “We are telling Nigerians to be wary of what they consume; drugs not certified by our regulatory agencies should not be patronised under any guise. We have seen and heard cases where people consume some of these drugs, and they die. “

He further emphasised the negative impact of smuggling, saying, “It is a criminal offence against the state; participating in it has legal consequences such as hefty fines, imprisonment, or other legal sanctions”.

“Smuggling impacts society negatively by short-changing the economy through tax evasion, affects public health and safety, distorts the balance of fair business competitiveness, and serves as an instrument for the achievement of other criminal activities”. He emphasised.

Highlighting the unit’s activities in the 1st quarter of 2024, Ejibunu noted that seizures recorded were due to violations of various sections of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 and the federal government import and export prohibition guidelines.

He stated that 206 seizures were made with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N2,877,049,777, while 29 suspects were arrested.

Some of the items seized are 365 cartons of unmarked drugs, 2,705 kegs of premium motor spirit, 3,510 pieces of pneumatic used tyres, 12,278 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 21 trailer loads), 40 units of used vehicles, 2,230 kg of Indian Hemp.

Others are 286 cartons of rubber slippers, 1,220 cartons of foreign tomato paste, 330 bales of used clothes, 1,569 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products, 104 units of Haojuo Motorcycle, 566 cartons of slippers.

On Revenue Generation, Comptroller Ejibunu stated that the revenue recovery made within the period under review was N305,310,010.44. “This represents 67% collection of the N455,202,073.97 revenue target for 2024”.

He encouraged importers and traders to be compliant with all relevant regulations and laws, as non-compliance has consequences of costly fines and penalties.

Ejibunu noted that compliant importers can access the Service’s preferential treatment through preferential trade programs.