Following the outbreak of monkeypox that has continued unabated, Nigerian Custom Area Controller, CAC of Federal Operation Unit, FOU, Zone A, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Hussein Ejubunu has warned the general public about patronizing smuggled used clothes. The Custom boss stated this in Lagos during a press briefing reminding the general public that expert in the health sector has linked the possibility of transmission of the disease through an exchange of clothing. Therefore, he disclosed that smuggling of such contraband has implications on our economy apart from our health, consequently warning the general public of the danger of buying smuggled used clothes.
He revealed that recently, his intelligence team discovered bales of about 1,955 used clothes in an uncompleted building in Lagos near the International Trade Fair Complex, and his office has since taken custody of the contraband.
He warned the general public that due to the prevalence of the said deadly monkeypox and its mode of transmission, it has become a thing of worry for authorities to caution the general public of health hazards associated with the use of smuggled second-hand cloth into the country.
Ejubunu said trading in used cloth in Nigeria in commercial quantity falls under absolute prohibition, saying the one they found has been seized and they are after the owner to affect an arrest.
He reiterated, “The very serious health implication of this act of textile smuggling is the exposure of users to skin diseases like scabies and fungal diseases which can be transmitted by wearing unwashed second-hand clothes.
The custom boss added that “This is coming at a time when the world is wary of monkeypox whose mode of transmission includes clothing. According to a World Health Organization fact sheet, “Monkeypox” is transmitted to humans through close contact with an
an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.
“Monkeypox virus” is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding, he said.
Explaining further, he stated that the disease “Is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.
“The government in its wisdom wants the local textile industry to enjoy the protection and create more jobs for Nigerians from the cotton farms through the textile and garment factories to our markets,” he noted.