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Senate summons CG, customs over suspension order on supply of fuel to border towns

Senate summons CG, customs over suspension order on supply of fuel to border towns
Red chambers of the Nigerian Senate

By Henry Umoru

The Senate has summoned the Comptroller- General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, retd over the suspension Order placed on the Supply of Petroleum products to Border Towns or communities within 20 Kilometres to the nation’s borders by the service.
The Senate has mandated the Senator Francis Alimikhena, All Progressives Congress, APC, Edo North led Senate  Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff  to summon the Comptroller General of NCS, with a view of working out a viable economic framework/policy that could further mitigate the sufferings of the people, and communities across the border 
areas.

READ ALSO: Border closure: ECOWAS countries reject Nigerian goods

The Senate Committee has also been asked to ensure a steady supply of petroleum products through the identified suppliers and registered filling stations across all the border towns and communities as a temporary palliative measures as well as initiate a holistic policy approach, with the same vigour on the Nation’s waterways.
Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to motion titled,  “The need to revisit the Suspension Order placed on the supply of petroleum products to border towns” and sponsored by Senator Tolulope Odebiyi (APC-Ogun West) and co-sponsored by Senator Francis Fadahunsi, PDP, Osun East.
Presenting the motion, Odebiyi said that there was remarkable progress made by the Federal Government in stopping the activities of smuggling since the closure of all land borders in the country.
According to him, while the country had made some laudable progress in this regard, it appeared there was no sustainable framework that had been put in place to ensure the proper coordination and implementation of the directive and its horrid impact on communities and residents living across the border.
He said, “On Thursday, Nov. 7, Nigerians woke up to another directive from the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, that no petroleum product should be supplied to any filling station within 20 kilometres to the borders.
“This directive is a knee jerk approach to a modern-day problem, as it is obsolete when compared to the array of technological solutions that can be explored to rid the country of the menace.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Border Closure: Government deserves support of Nigerians (1)

Senator Odebiyi noted that there were 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 the practice at the moment.
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Senator  Ahmad Lawan, stressed the need to engage with customs authorities for a holistic policy approach in the best interest of Nigerians.

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