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Reps Kick Against Customs’ Ban On Fuel Supply To Border Communities

The House of Representatives on Tuesday demanded immediate halt to the implementation of a directive by the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali that petrol should no longer be supplied to communities within 20 kilometer radius of the land borders.

The resolution followed the consideration and adoption of a motion on matters of urgent public importance brought by Hon. Sada Soli Jibia, (APC, Katsina), drawing attention to the untold hardship the directive has subjected his constituents to.

The motion titled “the need to halt the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service restricting the supply of petroleum products to towns within 20 kilometres of the Nigerian border”, was seconded by Hon. Bello Kaoje, (APC, Kebbi).

The operation is said to have been aimed at discouraging the smuggling of petroleum products outside Nigerian borders.

But Hon. Soli stated that “the inhabitants of these border towns are already feeling the brunt of the border closure, to now deny them petroleum products which will adversely affect hospitals, businesses, the supplementing of the source of epileptic power etc, without due consultation and enlightenment is most insensitive to the plight of these Nigerians”.

He stated that being from Jibia in Katsina State which is also a border community; he has seen firsthand the adverse effects of this operation as the price of petroleum has skyrocketed beyond what is the reach of the common man.

The lawmaker prayed the House to call the Customs Service to order as the action is unconstitutional.

Also contributing to the debate, Hon. Abdullahi Abdulkadir stated that the decision of the Nigeria Customs Service is “draconian” and aimed at increasing the level of suffering of the people without consideration for the effects. He called on the Nigeria Customs to reverse the decision.

Hon. Fatuhu Mohammed stated that the people in his constituency in Daura of Katsina State are suffering immeasurably saying that the Customs Service should be sensitive to them as Nigerians and reverse the policy.

On his part, Hon. Mohammed Umar decried the uncontrollable increase of petroleum products prices in these regions and called on the House to come to the aid of Nigerians who are suffering. The motion was then voted on and adopted.