The supply of petroleum products to filling stations 20 kilometers to Nigeria’s borders has been suspended.
In a report by the dailytrust.com.ng, the Nigerian Custom made this decision in a circular from its Abuja headquarters and signed by it’s Deputy Controller-General, Enforcement, Inspection and Investigation(EII), Chidi Augustine.
“The Comptroller-General of Customs has directed that henceforth , no petroleum product no matter the tank size is permitted to be discharged in any filling station within 20 kilometers to it’s border .
“Consequently ,you are all to ensure strict compliance please” the report added.
The report further revealed that the circular was addressed to all Zonal Coordinators , Operation Swift Response, Sector Coordinator 1,2,3 and 4.Others include Area Comptrollers, Coordinators and Marine Commands.
It was further revealed that the objective of the directive by the authority was to check smuggling of petroleum products though the borders and that the task force would ensure that defaulting filling stations are unlicenced.
It would be recalled that there has been controversies trailing the closure of the borders by Nigeria especially because of Nigeria being a party to ECOWAS free trade and to AfCTA agreements with member countries alleging a breach to it’s deal.
The Federal Government of Nigeria had alleged a proliferation of smuggled goods especially consumables into the country through the land borders . Commodities such as rice imported from Thailand and Indonesia had penetrated the Nigerian market leading to an outcry over it’s effect on local production.
Neighbouring countries like Benin and Togo has been accused of making brisk business from Nigeria’s porous borders which had within the period in review was a beehive of smuggling activities and wrecking Government policies on many fronts both economic and Security.
The Comptroller General of Customs at the apex of the nation’s customs agency had said
“All goods for now ,are banned from being exported or imported through our land borders and that is to ensure that we have total control over what comes in” he added.
With the recent ban on fuel supplies to border fuel stations and the continuous border closure, it seems the government’ objectives are far from being achieved and leaving a cloud of uncertainty on what lies ahead on the border closure.