By Oluseye Ojo

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said the act of smuggling poses a grave threat to the country’s national security and economic stability, which has accounted for why the agency has been stepping up its games to combat the menace decisively.

The Customs Area Controller, Oyo/Osun Area Command, Dr. Ben Oramalugo, made the disclosure during a media briefing in Ibadan on the performance of the command within the first quarter of 2024.

According to him, the intensification of anti-smuggling activities by the NCS, especially the Oyo/Osun Command, were aimed at safeguarding the country’s borders and protecting its economy from illicit trade practices, adding, “We are committed to combating this menace with unwavering resolve.”

Oramalugo assured Nigerians that the agency would continue to prioritise professionalism, integrity, and a humane approach in all its operations, as it navigates the complexities of the current economic landscape of the country.

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On the occasion, the Oyo/Osun Area Command handed over fake pharmaceutical drugs with duty paid value of N1,740,020,000, intercepted at Bakatari, which is the boundary between Oyo and Ogun States, as well as the international borders of Nigeria on Oke-Ogun axis of Oyo State.

Oramalugo, officially handed over the seized fake drugs to the Director, South West Zone and Coordinating Director of Zones, National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mrs Roseline Ajayi.

Tne Director, NAFDAC, South West Zone, Mrs. Ajayi, in her response, appreciated the NCS on behalf of the Director-General of the agency, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, for the synergy between the two organisations towards ensuring that the menace of fake drugs becomes a thing of the past in the country.

She added that the agency would work independently and in collaboration with NCS and other agencies to further investigate the sources and importers of the fake drugs, which she said, carried fake NAFDAC registration numbers. She said the drugs would be subjected to laboratory analysis and thereafter, would be destroyed.