The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has suspended supply of petroleum products to filling stations within 20 kilometres to all the border posts in the country.
The Comptroller-General of the Service, Col. Hameed Ali ( rtd), gave the directive to all commands through the deputy comptroller-general, Enforcement, Inspection and Investigation Customs in Abuja ON Wednesday.
The CG stated that petroleum tankers must not be allowed to discharge contents within said distances. The circular, dated November 6, 2019, titled, ‘EII/2019/Circular No. 027 Suspension of Petroleum Products Supply To Filling Stations Within 20 Kilometers To All Borders’, was addressed to all zonal coordinators, operation swift response, sector coordinator 1,2,3 & 4, customs area controllers, coordinators CGC strike force teams, coordinator, headquarters strike force teams and all marine commands.
The circular reads, “The comptroller-general of Customs has directed that henceforth no petroleum products no matter the tank size is permitted to be discharged in any filling station within 20 kilometers to the border.
“Consequently, you are to ensure strict and immediate compliance please.’’
LEADERSHIP recalls that the Customs CG had recently said the main objective of the border closure was to ensure that neighbouring countries complied with the ECOWAS protocols on transit.
Ali explained that the protocol on transit mandated customs in the neighbouring countries to escort items coming to Nigeria to the borders so the importers would not evade payment of duties.
The customs boss added that the closure of the borders had helped to reduce the incessant attacks by bandits and curtailing the influx of arms and ammunition into the country.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP yesterday, the national public relations officer, NCS, Joseph Attah however confirmed the circular saying the service has stopped discharge of petroleum products at petrol stations that are 20 kilometre within the land borders across the country.
According to him, that will help check smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries that have been going unabated.
He said, “Yes, the circular comes from the Nigeria Customs Service. We are looking at all direction that will help stop petroleum smuggling in the country. We have small villages with 25 or 40 filling stations and you ask which purpose are they serving.’’