NUPENG, PENGASSAN back FG on fuel sale suspension, border residents fume

The Nigeria Customs Service has suspended supply of petroleum products to petrol stations within 20 kilometres of all the border posts.

The Comptroller General of Customs, Col.  Hameed  Ali ( retd.), gave this directive to all commands through   the Deputy Comptroller- General Enforcement, Inspection, and Investigation, Agustine Chidi,  late Wednesday in Abuja.

He stated that petroleum tankers must not be allowed to discharge content within 20 kilometres to borders.

But residents of border communities, who spoke to our correspondents on Thursday, expressed concern about the government’s directive.

They said the decision would worsen their suffering.

However, in spite of  the government’s order, smuggling of petrol products was still going on in border communities visited by our correspondents on Thursday.

Ali  had in a letter  dated November 6, 2019, titled, “EII/2019/Circular No 027 suspension of petroleum products supply to filling stations within 20 kilometres to all borders,” ordered all customs zonal coordinators, Operation Swift Response and other sector heads to effect the suspension of sale of petroleum products at borders.

The letter stated, “The Comptroller-General of Customs has directed that henceforth no petroleum product no matter the tank size is permitted to discharge fuel in any filling station within 20 kilometres to a border. Consequently, you are to ensure strict and immediate compliance please.”

The Federal Government had on August 18, closed borders between Nigeria and its neighbours,   citing massive smuggling and illegal immigration as the reasons.

On Monday, it gave conditions for the reopening of the borders. It said Nigeria would no longer accept repackaged imported goods from its neighbours. The Federal Government also insisted that all aliens coming into the country through the land borders must have travel passports.

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