Adewale Adeniyi, the Acting Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has announced that the Federal Government plans to establish petrol stations along the international border regions to ease the challenges experienced by the residents of these border areas.
The Federal Government had initially imposed a ban on the sale of petroleum products within a 20-kilometer radius of international borders. This measure was implemented to combat the smuggling of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighboring countries, including the Republic of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger Republic, and others.
How Ipokia Youth Forum Reacts to the development
Recently, concerned citizens from Ipokia, operating under the banner of the ‘Ipokia Youth Forum’ in the Ipokia local government area of Ogun state, situated on the international border between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, have made an earnest appeal to the Federal Government.
They are requesting the lifting of the ban on the sale of petroleum products within a 20-kilometer radius of the international border, which has imposed severe hardships on the local residents.
The Ipokia Youth Forum has strongly criticized the prohibition of petroleum product sales along the international border, particularly in light of the fuel subsidy removal in the country. They lament that this ban has exacerbated the emergence of a thriving black market for petrol, where the price of a liter of petrol has skyrocketed to as much as N1,000 in the border regions.
However, during a press briefing hosted by the Ogun 1 Area Command of the Nigeria Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, Acting Comptroller-General, made a statement in which he affirmed that the establishment of these petrol stations would alleviate the challenges faced by residents in the border regions.
These challenges include exorbitant petrol prices, which have been exacerbated by measures put in place to combat product smuggling and the removal of fuel subsidies.
Addressing the endeavors to combat the illicit trade in drugs and the widespread use of hard drugs among Nigerian youths, Adeniyi conveyed his apprehension regarding the alarming increase in the smuggling of hard drugs into the nation from neighboring countries. He confirmed that these hard drugs are infiltrating not only through land routes but are also being transported through waterways and air routes.
Adeniyi expressed significant concern about the heightened security risks associated with the easy access of youths to these drugs, which has resulted in serious behavioral issues. He assured Nigerians that Customs would redouble their efforts to combat illicit trade and the smuggling of hard drugs to safeguard the nation’s security.
When presenting the seizure statistics made within a one-month period by the Ogun 1 Area Command of the Nigeria Customs, Adeniyi reported that between September 18 and September 30, 2023, the officers of the command confiscated 1,436 used pneumatic tires, 53 sacks, and 569 parcels of Cannabis Sativa, with a combined weight of 1,179 kilograms.
Furthermore, they also captured 3,149 bags of foreign parboiled rice, each weighing 50 kilograms, as well as 32 vehicles employed for transportation, among various other items. These seizures hold a remarkable Duty Paid Value (DPV) totaling N241,977,943.00, as stated by Adeniyi.
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