Customs boss explains why he suspends petrol supply to border towns

Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has explained that the decision to suspend petrol supply to some border towns, is to check the smuggling of fuel, particularly petrol.

While speaking at the 2020 budget defence before the House of Representatives Committee on Customs, Ali noted that the majority of the retail outlets located at the border are culprits of fuel diversion.

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Ali further said petrol marketers are taking out the products to ridiculously sell to neighbouring countries.

He said, “They get approval to discharge the products legitimately in the day, but at night, they siphon it out. This has been going on for a long time.

“Now, we restricted supply to 20km before the border. Let’s monitor the outflow. We want to know where the outflow is coming from.

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“But we suspect these filling stations at the border are the conduit to siphon petrol and sell double the price to neighbouring countries.

“Petrol is sold at N395/litre, but they buy from Nigeria at less than N145/litre.

“With this border closure, it has jumped to N600/litre. Meaning, we are the ones subsidising petrol for neighbouring countries. So, marketers are making a kill. It’s attractive to take petrol out and sell there.”

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Pulse had reported that the Federal Government’s order to stop petroleum products being supplied to filling stations within 20 kilometres of the closed borders, has triggered fuel scarcity in some border communities, thereby resulting in increase in pump price of petrol