Customs bans importation  of pharmaceutical products through offdock Terminals

Abiola Seun

In a move to checkmate  the importation of fake, adulterated and banned pharmaceutical products such as Tramadol into the country, the Nigeria Customs Service has restricted the importation and clearance of these regulated products to  the Seaports.

Consequently, importation of such products like pharmaceutical and other regulated products has been outlawed through any other point of entry except ports.

This was disclosed by the Area Controller of the command, Mohammed Musa, in an interview with newsmen in Lagos over the weekend.

According to him, “The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), retired Col. Hameed Ali, has also directed that all pharmaceutical products must be cleared from the ports, meaning that there should be no movement of pharmaceutical products to the outside terminal.

“The directive was made to control the influx of Tramadol and other related goods imported into the country.

However, the command Command said it generated N78.8 billion in the first quarter of 2019, up from N76.7 billion realised in the corresponding period of 2018.

He said the command projected an income of N84 billion during the period under review but it generated about 94 per cent of the target.

Musa said the command was given a target of N343 billion for 2019, saying that it surpassed the target for two months but the election holidays affected the revenue in March.

He said the command is working hard to boost the revenue and surpassed the revenue generated in 2018.

According to him, the command is committed to the transformation of revenue collection and reporting system with the implementation of the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS).

“There is an improvement in compliance in the command, mostly because of the policies and directive from the headquarters insisting on 100 per cent examination of imported cargo with regard to the protection of the environment.

He reiterated that the command would work hard to make the second quarter revenue generation better than the first quarter.

The command boss said that there were relative peace and calm in the command due to the high-level engagement, saying that its doors are open to interpretation at all times.

“If the agents need clarification on service, they get in touch with our officers and the command had also established a Dispute Resolution Committee which comprises of all the unit heads in the command.
“We also have a Help Desk which I am the Chairman and the command Public Relations Officer, Uche Ejesieme, is the Deputy Chairman of the desk.
“The Committee on Dispute Resolution takes care of challenges and if the issue is not solved by the committee, then it would be transferred to the Help desk and all issues are expected to be resolved in few hours,” he said.
He said that the idea of the introduction of the Resolution Committee and the Help desk was to facilitate trade, saying that any delay in the release of cargo could affect the whole Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Musa, however, said that the command was creating competitiveness in the environment, saying that it had few arrests in the period under review and the suspects are helping in the investigations.

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