The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has intercepted 20 drums of calcium carbide in Ogun state.
Hussein Ejibunu, acting customs area controller, federal operations unit (FOU), zone A, Lagos state, said the drums of calcium carbide were smuggled into the country from neighbouring countries.
He said calcium carbide is a chemical used in manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and could cause security challenges if not controlled.
Speaking with journalists on Tuesday, Ejibunu said 41 pieces of military camouflage bags were also seized.
It is instructive to emphasise that such importation raises concerns about national security,” he said.
“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 challenges for the country because carbide is highly 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 on exposure can irritate the mouth, nose, and throat if not properly handled. Inhaling calcium carbide can irritate the lungs.”
He said that owing to its composition and to prevent security challenges, the importation of calcium carbide is controlled by the office of the national security adviser (NSA).
“Higher exposures may cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs and could lead to emergency medical situations. Its importation is, therefore, strictly controlled by the office of the national security adviser (NSA),” he added.