Despite restriction on fuel supply to border communities, smuggling, extortion still rife

“My businesses are suffering from what I know nothing about. I don’t smuggle petrol across the border. We only sell petrol to motorists and other users in Nigeria. I am too far from the border to be engaged in petrol bunkering, if you want to see those smuggling petrol to Benin Republic, go to Owode-Apa,” said the owner of a Forte Oil filling station in Gbaji, a village about 19 kilometres to Nigeria’s main western border with Benin and 21 kilometres to the lesser-known border at Owode-Apa.

The owner of the station, who refused to give his name, claimed another of his filling stations was affected by the embargo placed on the supply of petroleum products within 20 kilometres from land borders announced by the Nigerian government.

“We thought the policy would be lifted after…

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