…As Col. Hameed Ali says Importation of used vehicles through land border remains banned***
The Nigerian Customs Services, Kano, Jigawa Command has intercepted Analgin Injection worth N100 million. Nigeria banned Analgin Injection 15 years ago upon discovery that it could lead to complications that can adversely increase the risk of heart problems.
The Comptroller of the Command, Mr. Ahmad Nasir highlighted this on Thursday while briefing newsmen on the arrest of suspected smugglers of drugs and other banned products in Kano, stressing that the command will never allow such dastardly activity which posed a great risk to citizens’ health and was capable of denting Nigeria’s image, to go unabated.
“And also, if such illegal importation of banned and illicit drugs continues in the country, the fight against any form of security challenge cannot be achieved.
“Therefore, it is also our responsibility to contribute to the fight against drug abuse in Nigeria, and such requires everyone’s support,’’ he said.
Nasir advised travelers to watch their bags and belongings so as not to fall victims of set up by some criminal elements.
In the same vein, the comptroller also said the command had in less than two months seized illegally imported rice and vehicles worth more than N266 million.
“We intercepted 54 units of vehicles, 2,814 bags of foreign rice, 1,717 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 59 bales of second hand clothing, 99 cartons of foreign spaghetti, 21 bags of foreign sugar and 40 cartons of foreign soap,’’ Nasir said.
Receiving the confiscated drugs, the Director, National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Kano, Alhaji Shaba Mohammed said that the drugs were labelled with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations (UN) tags.
Mohammed said the drugs were also said to be donated by the agencies.
Mohammed said that the drugs intercepted included a brand of Vitamin B complex injection which had also been banned in the country.
In the meantime, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), has again reiterated the ban on importation of used vehicles through land border, urging stakeholders to adhere strictly to the rules of engagement.
Ali made the observation during the inauguration of the connectivity platform established by the European Union at Seme Border to improve trade, on Thursday.
According to him, Customs is not opening land border for importation of used vehicles but is interested in the success of the connectivity platform to facilitate border trade between Nigeria and Benin Republic.
The customs boss urged all stakeholders to embrace the platform to enable the two countries to achieve seamless operations and trade facilitation.
He said that the platform would assist genuine traders, adding that smugglers would be fought.
“We are envisaging compliance, and we hope we get compliance; where individual decides not to comply, then the customs will ensure there is no illicit trafficking between the two countries.
“At the initial stage, I do expect some challenges before our traders get used to the system; there is always an apprehension when it comes to ICT (Information and Communication Technology, people are not very comfortable.
“We have some series of sensitisation, we will continue to tell them the benefits of these technologies and what they stand to gain.
“It is our hope that in no time, all of them will key in into the platform,” Ali said.
He said that through this platform, false declaration of goods and some other illegal activities, experienced due to manual operation, would stop.
Ali further said that the platform would open in Windows format, adding
that it would increase the volume of trade and revenue between the two countries.
In his remarks, the Director-General of Customs, Republic of Benin, Mr. Charles Sacca, hailed the efforts of NCS to ensure the two countries achieved success in the connectivity platform.
“Since 15 years ago, both countries have been working toward this achievement, we thanks God for making it successful.
“We have been able to put in place monitoring teams.
“The connectivity will be a milestone for both countries with the help of the World Customs Organization.
“Also, our administration will be able to integrate other agencies into the platform.
“Before now, it was difficult for other countries to locate Benin because it is a small country but with the collaboration, Nigeria being the Giant of Africa, we are going to be popular as a result of border trade,” Sacca said.
The use of connectivity platform was demonstrated before the public, indicating the way transaction processing will be done.
A transaction was demonstrated between Benin customs and Nigeria customs where NCS in Abuja checked the documents of a consignment coming from Benin without visiting the border post.