July 16, 2024

Petrol: Customs’ Special Operations seizes 150,950 litres in 7 days

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has shed light on how a special operations unit of the service seized 150,950 litres of petrol worth N105,965,391 in one week

The Comptroller-General who was in Adamawa on Monday for a press briefing on NIS’s ‘Operation Whirl Wind’, said while under the special operation which was launched two weeks ago, the NCS seized 150,950 litres worth N105,965,391; the various area commands of the service intercepted a total of 129,185 litres worth N90,558,685 in their own routine operations, bringing the total to 280,135 litres of seized petrol.

“Within seven days of intensive operations, a total of 150,950 litres of PMS (petrol) valued at N105,965,391 have been intercepted at various locations nationwide,” he said of the success of Operations WhirlWind].

On seizures made through routine operations of the various commands of the NCS, he explained that federal operating units and marine commands intercepted a total of 129,185 litres of fuel valued at N90,558,685.

Conducting the briefing at the Adamawa/Taraba Area Command headquarters in Yola, the NCS comptroller-general said fuel smuggling had become so widespread because the average cost of the product in neighbouring countries is much higher than what is applicable in Nigeria.

“Comparative studies show that fuel prices in Nigeria remain the cheapest when compared to other countries in the west and central African region,” he said, adding, “While petrol is sold at an average of N701.99 in Nigeria, it is sold at an average of N1,672.05 in Republic of Benin and N2, 061.55 in Cameroon.

“In other countries around the region, the price of PMS ranges from N1,427.68 in Liberia to N2,128.20 in Mali, averaging N1,787.57, according to the fuel price data obtained from open source.”

He said cross-border diversion of fuel which has become so lucrative for smugglers is an economic sabotage which the NCS cannot condone and would therefore fight to the finish.

“Truck out of petrol from refineries and depots is always meant for particular places and when such trucks are found far from where they are destined, we will act,” he said.

Asked why he mentioned no arrest of suspects behind the thousands of litres of petrol that he said had been seized, the Customs controller-general said most of the seizures are abandoned and so Customs operators most times do not get to see the people behind the product.

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