Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Lagos have intercepted 20 drums of carbide, a chemical substance used in manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Acting Controller of the unit, Deputy Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu who disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Lagos, said the chemicals were hidden under a truck that was intercepted in Ijebu Ode area of Ogun State, saying that the unit also made seizures worth over N579.412 million in the month of August 2022 and arrested a total of ten suspects in connection with some of the seizures.
He said, “On the seized 20 drums of carbide, it is instructive to emphasize that such importation raises concerns of national security. This is because it is a chemical used in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and could cause danger to life and property.
“Allowing things like this chemical into the society uncontrollably could create serious security challenge for the country. Carbide is flammable, reactive and can cause explosion hazards when mixed with other chemicals and exposed to water or moisture.
“It forms flammable acetylene gas that could be used to endanger lives by lawless persons. This is aside from other health hazards, the chemical exposure can irritate the mouth, nose and throat if not properly handled. Inhaling Calcium Carbide can irritate the lungs”.
He disclosed that such importation requires approval of the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) where an End User Certificate (EUC) ought to have been issued to authorise such Importation, adding that higher exposures may cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs and could lead to an emergency medical situation. Its importation is, therefore, strictly controlled by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).