The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has yet again demonstrated its unrelenting effort against illicit goods and safeguarding the society. NCS reported intercepting contraband along the Lagos/Ibadan Motorway valued at more than N100 million, including 299 cartons of codeine syrup (hard drugs), 5,600 liters of gasoline, and other items on Wednesday. In his remark to the press at the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Lagos, the acting Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, emphasized the risks related with getting easy access to harmful drugs.
Adeniyi noted that the widespread abuse of Codeine syrup by defiant youths led to the drug’s classification as a controlled substance. Also, the misuse and illegal distribution of drugs containing codeine have raised serious security and public health concerns and contributed to an uptick in addiction, negative health effects, and societal challenges. Conversely, regulatory agencies responded by imposing restrictions on the public’s ability to obtain it. This operation further demonstrates NCS implacable efforts in eradicating the danger of drug trafficking.
Smugglers met their demise in various NCS officers’ operations.
Based on reliable information, officials from the Federal Operating Unit Zone A stopped a DAF truck near Ijebu-Ode Junction last week. Thorough checking of the truck uncovered 299 cartons of codeine syrup along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. This shows more reason to tackle this problem as part of a wider endeavors to ensure public health and well-being safety. The Customs acting Comptroller General affirmed the agency’s commitment to maintaining cooperation with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other pertinent governmental bodies to effectively combat the proliferating risk and ensure a better future for the youths.
He said smugglers engaged in the illicit transportation of rice and premium motor spirit persistently challenge the resolve of the Customs department to eradicate their operations. Whereas he noted that the act of smuggling rice not only undermines the nation’s revenue but also contributes to food insecurity. According to him, despite the subsidy removal effect on the economy, smugglers persist to convey PMS across the border. However, the smugglers met their demise in various operations orchestrated by NCS officers.
Last two weeks have also seen the seizure of various items.
A total of 4,252 bags of foreign Parboiled rice (50 kg each) were seized in the following locations: Dangote/Imashayi Ogun State, Saki Axis Oyo State, Owode/Ado Odo in Ogun state, Idiroko/Ohumbe Ogun state, Okoko Mile 2 Axis in Lagos State, and Ado-Ekiti in Ekiti State. Similar interception occurred in Ogun State, when smugglers tried to move 5,600 liters of premium motor spirit through the Oja-odan axis. Also, the last two weeks have also seen the seizure of 291 bales of second-hand clothing, 57 sacks and four jumbo sacks of used shoes, 486 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products, 190 pieces of rugs, five units of vehicles and 170 pieces of used tyres.
These seizures result as a consequence of the agency’s unwavering stance to rigorously uphold the law and safeguard the well-being of the citizens. According to reports, young people are abusing codeine syrup at alarming rates. Long-term use of the drug is linked to addiction, anxiety, depression, memory loss, and organ damage (liver, kidneys, brain). It is imperative to acknowledge that the deleterious consequences of substance abuse have resulted in avoidable fatalities among individuals who consume them without the prescription of medical professionals.
Used tyres were also seized by the unit in early August.
Additionally, he noted that the 340 used tyres seized by the aforementioned unit in the first two weeks of August 2023 was not just for import restrictions but also a step towards reducing car accidents caused by illegally imported tyres. A lot of these tyres are cracked because they are crushed, compacted, and tucked within themselves for concealment and most times, they lack stiffness and strength because they have expired. A blowout or unexpected rupture may occur on route as the steel wire used to maintain the tyres in shape has been disorganized in the process of smuggling, he added.