A Forte Oil retail station is the last of such service facility to Nigeria’s Illela, Sokoto State border with the Niger Republic. The station is now closed following a custom policy banning the supply of petroleum products to stations within 20 kilometres of land borders.
Nevertheless, it is a hub of activity, serving an inverted purpose.
One January morning, dry and cold, packs of Bigi juice were being arranged in tens in sacks, and 20-litre cans containing petrol were there also. Despite the official closure of Nigeria’s land borders, these goods would be transported for higher margins to Kwani in Niger Republic following irregular routes.
PREMIUM TIMES‘ investigation shows that smugglers are still able to engage their illicit transborder trade relying on okada riders and…