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NASS fumes, says Customs lacked powers to stop petroleum products distribution

Six days after the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) issued a unilateral order suspending supplies of petroleum products to filling stations within 20kms radius to the border, the House of Representatives Tuesday, resolved to vacate the order.

Recall that the Comptroller-General of Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.), had vide a circular sent to all border Commands, stopped discharge of tankers carrying Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) within 20km to the country’s borders.

Aside the resolution of the House, already, the leadership of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), had Friday warned that as fuel in their generators runs dry, telecoms services within 20 to 40kms from the borders will be off and that will spell doom on insecurity.

Besides, the Customs may not be able to do its border revenue generation as their systems will be shutdown due to no network service delivery.

Though ALTON sent the petition to the telecom regulator, the NCC, nothing has been heard either from the regulatory agency or the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy so far.

At plenary on Tuesday, a member, Hon. Sada Soli, had moved a motion of urgent national importance, expressing worry that the order by the NCS should be vacated.

He argued that the order by the customs boss first of all, contravenes the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act and added that the filling stations asked not to sell petrol close to the borders were situated and constructed in compliance with relevant laws and all necessary approvals.

Hon Soli made it clear that “This is not acceptable! Review this directive with a human face.”

In line with the urgency which the matter deserved, other lawmakers on seconding the motion chided the unilateral policy.

Many others especially those representing parts of Nigeria along the border lamented the hardships currently faced by people living in border communities.

Checks across several Border States including Ogun, Lagos, Adamawa, Katsina and Sokoto states show unbearable condition of living due to the grounding of petrol stations within 20km to the border.