Sixty days into the implementation of the directive on suspension of petrol to filling stations located 20 kilometres to the borders, over 60,000 litres of petrol have been seized from smugglers by the Nigeria Customs Service.
The Public Relations Officer, NCS Ogun 1 Command, Mr Abdullahi Maiwada, who confirmed the figure in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said the product was seized in the command through the joint efforts of security agencies.
The NCS had on November 6, 2019 suspended the supply of petroleum products to filling stations located within 20 kilometres to the nation’s borders with other countries.
The approval, according to a circular from the service, was given by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Alli.
The suspension of the supply of petroleum products became imperative following the closure of Nigeria’s borders to neighbouring countries and to check smuggling of petroleum products.
Maiwada described the anti-smuggling operation of the service in the command as effective, adding that daily, at least 1,000 litres of fuel were seized from smugglers.
He said, “We are working as directed by our corporate headquarters. A number of vehicles that are used in conveying fuel are increasing geometrically and this has increased the number of vehicles that pass through illegal routes.
“What I can say is that we are doing our best to suppress smuggling to its barest minimum and we are suppressing it.
“The seizure of petroleum products is on and we do that every day and we do auction them as enshrined in the law.
“The number of seizures we have shows that we are effectively manning the borders against smuggling of petroleum products outside the country.
“On a daily basis, we seize about 1,000 litres of petrol on the average. So we are suppressing smuggling.”
The NCS had last month constituted the special task force to implement the directive on suspension of petrol to filling stations located 20 kilometres to the borders.
The NCS decided to constitute the special task force in order to ensure seamless implementation of the directive.
Before the decision was taken, various meetings were held between top officials of the command and stakeholders.
Members of the special task force were given the responsibility of managing the inflow of petroleum products for the basic needs of border communities particularly the Idiroko and Ajilete axis in Ogun State.