The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Apapa Command, seized contraband valued at N21.19 billion in 2020.
The command said yesterday that among the seizures were 133 containers of imported unregistered pharmaceutical products. Its Area Controller, Comptroller Mohammed Abba-Kura, explained that there was a total seizure of 318 cargoes between January and December 2020.
Also, he said that the command generated N518 billion, which was an increase of 22.3 per cent when compared to the N423.6 billion generated in 2019. Kura stressed: “Among the seizures last year were 133 containers of unregistered pharmaceutical, including tramadol; 58 containers of parboiled rice, 30 containers of vegetable oil, 31 containers of used clothes and shoes and 13 containers of used tyres and other items.
“In the area of export, we exported 1,311,365 cargoes in 2020 compared to 262,095 cargoes in 2019. The Free On Board (FOB) value of exported items equally rose from $132,760,512.94 to $340,884,102.99 within the period under review.
“Most of the importers of the pharmaceutical products always want to evade inspection from NAFDAC or other health agencies, so, they falsely declare the contents of their cargoes.
However, our officers caught them in the act and subsequently impounded such cargoes. “On inspection, we always found out that these pharmaceutical products don’t have expiry or manufactured dates.
Some are not NAFDAC-certified, thus the reason these cargo owners falsely declare them. That was why pharmaceutical imports topped the list of seizures at the Lagos ports in 2020