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Closure: 66 border communities’ filling stations get waivers

Closure: 66 border communities’ filling stations get waivers

Hameed Ibrahim Ali, CG, NCS

The Federal Government has approved waivers for 66 filling stations located within border communities to lift and supply petroleum products, our correspondent gathered on Sunday.

In November 2019, the Federal Government banned the supply of petroleum products to filling stations at least 20km away from all borders, a development that led to an increase in the pump price of petrol in the affected areas to about N600/litre.

“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 20km to the border,” Deputy Comptroller-General, Augustine Chidi, had declared in November 2019.

But in a letter from the headquarters of the Nigeria Customs Service dated March 18, 2020, with reference number NCS/ENF/ABJ/058/S.24, sighted by one of our correspondents in Abuja on Sunday, the NCS said 66 filling stations in border communities had been granted waivers to now lift petroleum products.

The letter, which had its subject as “Re: Approved filling stations at border communities granted waivers to lift and supply petroleum products,” was issued to the Zonal Coordinators, Zone A, B, C and D; Customs Area Controllers: Cr/Akwa Ibom, Kano/Jigawa, Katsina and Kebbi.

Others include controllers in Kwara, Niger/Kogi, Ogun 1, Oyo/Osun, Seme and Sokoto/Zamfara.

Comptrollers Marine Commands, Comptroller CIU/C.P.U, and Zonal Commanders HQ Strike Force also got the letter.

The letter read in part, “This is to notify you (that the) NSA through the Comptroller-General has graciously approved waivers for 66 filling stations located within the border communities to lift and supply petroleum products.

“Consequently, you are to liaise with sector commanders/coordinators to ensure that the products are not diverted from their intended destinations. This is forwarded for your information and strict compliance, please.”

The letter was signed by the Comptroller, Enforcement HQ, Dimka, V.D, for the Comptroller-General of Customs.

This came as findings by media sourceon Sunday showed that many filling stations in Abuja were still dispensing petrol above the approved N125/litre price.

Oando and Nipco filling stations in Bwari, a suburb in Abuja, dispensed petrol at N144/litre on Sunday as motorists complained that filling station operators were disobeying the Federal Government’s directive.

Also, a Nipco filling station in Kubwa, another popular suburb in Abuja, dispensed petrol at N145/litre.

Similarly, many petrol stations in Bayelsa State are yet to reduce the pump price of petrol as announced by the government.

It was learnt that only the NNPC mega filling station at the Julius Berger Junction had reflected the new pump price of N125 shortly after the Federal Government’s directive.

The Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Bayelsa State Chapter, Mr Erefaghamote Peters, said that his members would start selling fuel at N125 per litre on Monday.

Our correspondent, who monitored the sale of the product in some filling stations in the Rivers State capital, also observed that dealers were only selling petrol at N145 against the new price fixed by the Federal Government.

PUNCH.

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