The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, has said that the decision to suspend the supply of petrol to communities at the border was taken to check the smuggling of the product.
Ali said this at the 2020 budget defence before the House of Representatives Committee on Customs. The Customs boss said the majority of those retail outlets located at the border are culprits of fuel diversion, especially petrol.
Ali explained that the agency suspects that the filling stations at the border served as conduit to siphon petrol and sell at double the price to neighbouring countries.
He said, “They get approval to discharge the products legitimately in the day, but at night, they siphon it out. This has been going on for a long time. “Now, we restricted supply to 20km before the border. Let’s monitor the outflow. We want to know where the outflow is coming from.
“But we suspect these filling stations at the border are the conduit to siphon petrol and sell double the price to neighbouring countries. “Petrol is sold at N395/litre, but they buy from Nigeria at less than N145/litre.
“With this border closure, it has jumped to N600/litre. Meaning, we are the one subsidising petrol for neighbouring countries. “So, marketers are making a kill. It’s attractive to take petrol out and sell there.”