The Senate Tuesday directed the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service ( NCS) and the National Security Adviser (NSA) to lift the subsisting restriction order placed on the supply of petroleum products to border communities.
Lifting of the restriction order, the Senate declared, was very necessary now, since fuel subsidy removal by the federal government has substantially put paid to the smuggling of petroleum products at border communities.
The Red Chamber accordingly mandated its Committee on Customs and Excise when constituted, to ensure compliance and report back to the Senate in four weeks for possible further legislative action.
The resolutions followed consideration of a motion moved to that effect by Senator Solomon Adeola ( APC Ogun West).
Senator Adeola, while leading debate on the motion, informed his colleagues that the federal government had on November 6, 2019 through the Comptroller General of Customs directed that “no petroleum products is permitted to be discharged in any filling station within a radius of 20 kilometres to the border of Nigeria”
He noted that the directive was to checkmate smuggling of Nigerian petroleum products, mostly premium motor spirit, PMS, to the neighbouring countries where there was a thriving market for petrol because of subsidy that was still on the product until May 29, 2023 when President Bola Tinubu announced its removal in his inaugural speech.
“This policy had brought untold hardship and major losses to businesses of the residents and indigenes of the affected border communities, which later made the Nigerian Customs to relax the policy slightly by given license to two or three petrol stations in each of the local government areas that borders neighbouring countries.
“But that remedy was just a drop of water in an ocean scarcity of petrol considering the mass population of the people affected in these border towns and communities,” he stated. (Blueprint)