Maritime Review: Pirated books, fake drugs valued at N1.77bn impounded in Lagos Port

Maritime activities closed for the week with seizures of pirated boos and fake drugs, valued at N1.77 billion at the Lagos Port Complex.
The Customs Area Controller, Apapa Area 1 Command, Mr Eporwei Edike, handed over the three containers of pirated books valued at N1.5 billion to the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC).
Edike advised importers of prohibited items to stop the act.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) also seized five containers of imported counterfeit drugs (aphrodisiacs) known as `Heragra’ and `Ziagra’.
An aphrodisiac is a substance, which, when consumed, increases sexual desire.
The Director-General of the agency, Dr. Paul Orhii, told newsmen that the suspected importers had been paraded.
He said that officials of the agency intercepted another container of fake drugs at the port complex.
The fake products seized by the agency, in collaboration with the officials of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Port Health Services were valued at N270 million.
Orhii said the consumption of the seized drugs could lead to heart attacks, liver failure, kidney damage and death, in its victims.
During the week, Chief Kunle Folarin, the Chairman of the Ports Consultative Council (PCC), said Nigeria could create over 60,000 jobs through trans-shipment operations.
He said that with the nation’s vast natural opportunity of being surrounded by landlocked countries, it could serve her neighbours by making the ports attractive for patronage.
Folarin said countries like the Philippines had made the maritime sector a huge revenue earner, with an estimated six billion dollars annually by supplying seafarers to the world.
In the week under review, the NCS joined the rest of the global customs community to mark the 2015 International Customs Day.
The Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation, Mr Kunio Mikuriya, in a message, said the 2015 International Customs Day heralded an era in which customs administrations were encouraged to promote the partnership they had built, to improve border processes.
Also during the week, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) held a two-day sensitisation seminar on Ebola Virus Disease for the port community.
The Apapa Port Manager, Mr Nasir Mohammed, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the effort was necessary to keep the port community alert, in case of unforeseen circumstances.
The port community was given refresher training on how to identify the Ebola Virus symptoms and how to seek appropriate medical help when necessary.
During the week, the ports authority also advised dock workers on the need to observe safety regulations by ensuring that they used their safety kits while at work.
During the week under review, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) at a stakeholders meeting, bemoaned the attitude of terminal operators and shipping companies to a downward review of some port charges.
Mr Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary of the NSC, said the regulation of port charges was in the best interest of the nation’s economy.
Also in the week under review, the Planning Committee of the 2015 Nigeria Maritime Expo (NMAREX), announced that the exhibition would have as its highpoint, the issue of regenerating the nation’s economy.
Dr Omogbai Omo-Eboh, the Head of the Intellectual Group of the Committee, said this year’s event would enable stakeholders in the sector to take advantage of the opportunities in the industry to diversify the nation’s sources of income.