Adewale Adeniyi, Acting Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that the Federal Government would open petrol stations along the international border areas to ease the hardship being faced by the residents of border areas.
Recall that the Federal Government has banned sale of petroleum products within 20-kilemetre radius to international border in order to curb the smuggling of the products out of Nigeria to other neighbouring countries such as Republic of Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic, among others.
Recently, concerned citizens of Ipokia, tagged, ‘Ipokia Youth Forum’ in Ipokia local government area of Ogun state, an international border town between Nigeria and Republic of Benin, have appealed to the Federal Government to life ban on the sale of petroleum products within 20-kilometre radius to the international border which has brought untold hardship on the residents.
The Ipokia Youth Forum decried the ban on the sale of petroleum products along international border, especially at the time of the fuel subsidy removal in the Country, saying the sale ban has fuelled blackmaket sales of petrol as a litre of petrol goes as much as N1,000 per litre in the border areas.
But, speaking at a Press Briefing organised by Ogun 1 Area Command of Nigeria Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, Acting Comptroller-General, declared that the establishment of the filling stations would ease the hardship of residents of the border areas who pay outrageous prices for petrol as a result of measures being implemented to curb smuggling of the product and removal of fuel subsidy.
Speaking on the efforts to curb illicit trade in drugs and the use of hard drugs by Nigerian youths, Adeniyi expressed concern over the high rate of smuggling of hard drugs into the country from neighbouring countries as he confirmed that hard drugs are not only being smuggled into the country by land, but also being brought in through creeks and air routes.
“The country’s security is at great risk because youths have access to these drugs and are misbehaving seriously by taking it”, Adeniyi said, while assuring Nigerians that the Customs would intensify efforts against illicit trade and hard drugs smuggling.
While reeling out statistics of seizures made with one month by Ogun 1 Area Command of Nigeria Customs, Adeniyi said, “Between September 18 and September 30, 2023, the officers of the Ogun 1 Area Command seized 1,436 used Pneumatic tyres, 53 sacks, and 569 parcels of Cannabis Sativa, weighing a total of 1,179 kilograms.
“Additionally, they apprehended 3,149 bags of foreign parboiled rice, each weighing 50 kilograms, alongside 32 vehicles used for conveyance, among other items and these seizures’ Duty Paid Value (DPV) amounts to an impressive N241,977,943.00”, he said.