OrderPaperToday- A day after the House of Representatives made a call for the suspension of the Nigeria Customs Service’s ban on supply of petroleum to border towns in Nigeria, the Senate has summoned the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali to brief it on the same directive.
The invitation is aimed at finding a viable economic framework that could mitigate the sufferings of people in border communities.
As part of its action to stop smuggling activities across land border, the CG had given a directive on November 7 this year that no petroleum product should be supplied to any filling station within 20 kilometres to the borders.
This pronouncement resulted in a serious scarcity of petroleum products in the border towns of Ogun, Lagos, Adamawa, Katsina and Sokoto states, particularly in communities like Ilase, Megunle, ldiroko
and Agosasa, among others, in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Following lamentations by residents in these areas who now purchase petrol for as high as N600/per litre as against its normal price of N145, Senator Odebiyi Tolulope (APC, Ogun) moved a motion in that regard.
According to him, many filling stations within 20 kilometres in Ipokia LGA of the state have been shut down by the federal government’s task force.
He also expressed concern that there is no sustainable framework that has been put in place to ensure the proper coordination and implementation of this directive which has negatively affected communities and residents living across the border.
Going further, Senator Tolulope informed the Senate that there are a number of proven technological innovations that could be explored to check, manage and curtail these acts “without resulting to manual blanket approaches as it is being practiced at the moment”.
Arising from his argument, the lawmakers implored the Comptroller General to urgently explore the use of modern technological devices in the tracking, management and scheduling of petroleum trucks that undertake business along the border towns.
It also urged that a comprehensive audit be carried out in all petroleum stations and suppliers across the border communities, in a bid to closely monitor their movement by mandating each moving truck to have a tracking device that is monitored by the Nigeria Customs Service in a wholesome manner.
Ali was also urged to ensure a steady supply of petroleum products through identified suppliers and registered filling stations across all the border towns and communities as a temporary palliative measure.