…As Customs boss, Ali approves release of seized rice, other items worth N3.2bn***
The Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has warned the nine filling stations recently permitted to resume fuel distribution to border communities in Badagry against sharp practices.
The Acting Customs Area Controller, Chedi Wada, gave the warning on Tuesday at a meeting with the nine petrol marketers and some security agencies under the Seme border drill operation. At about the same time, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), approved the release of 46,000 metric tons of rice, 36,495 kegs of vegetable oil and other items valued at N3.2 billion for distribution.
According to the acting controller, the nine marketers should count themselves lucky that they were selected to resume selling petroleum out of 168 filling stations in Seme, Gbaji, Apa, Kweme, and Owode border areas.
“As you are aware, the Federal Government suspended fuel supply from 20 kilometers to the border communities on Nov. 7, 2019, because filling stations in Badagry were being used to commit all forms of illegalities.
“Count yourself lucky that out of 168 filling stations in Badagry communities, you are selected to be among the nine permitted to resume sales of petroleum products.
“I am using this opportunity to appeal to you to do the needful by doing what is right.
“If your filling station is found wanting or engaging in any form of illegality ranging from selling in jerry can to siphoning fuel inside jerry can in your backyard, you will be sanctioned.
“If you are caught, we will not only seal your filling station; we will also revoke your license, and your stations destroyed so that it will not exist again.
“We have eyes everywhere as you may be aware by now.
“If the police do not catch up with you, Army, Customs or Immigration will catch up with you, or some other intelligence will definitely catch up with you,’’ Wada said.
According to the customs boss, if kerosene or diesel is to be sold into jerry can, it should not exceed 10litres, while only a maximum of five litres of petrol should be sold into jerry cans.
The acting area controller said that any bank or industry that needed to buy more than the approved litres should always contact his office for approval.
He warned that selling and buying of petroleum products in all filling stations along the border communities should not exceed 6p.m, adding that any station found selling after 6p.m. would be sealed.
Responding on behalf of the nine filling stations, Mr Samuel Sedangaji, Managing Director, Luri Oil and Gas in Owode, promised that they would abide by the laid-down rules and regulations.
Sedangaji thanked the Federal Government for allowing the filling stations within the border communities to start selling fuel again a few months after they were suspended.
He said that this showed that the government had responded to the plight of people residing in border communities.
The officials present included Representatives of the Office of the Nigeria Security Adviser, the Immigration Service, and the Directorate of State Service.
Others were the Nigeria Army, Air force, Nigeria Police, Customs Service, Border Patrol Police.
In the meantime, the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), has approved the release of 46,000 metric tons of rice, 36,495 kegs of vegetable oil and other items valued at N3.2 billion for distribution.
The Customs’ Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Attah, highlighted this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
Attah said that the relief items were to boost the Federal Government continuous efforts to alleviate sufferings associated with the painful but necessary ongoing lockdown in some parts of the country.
He disclosed that the items approved to be released were 46,000 metric tons or about 158 trailers, 36,495 kegs of vegetable oil of 30 trucks and 3,428 kegs of palm oil.
According to him, others are 136,705 cartons of tomatoes paste, 2,951 cartons of spaghetti, 1,253 packets of noodles, 828 bales of wrappers and 2,300 rolls of lace fabric.
Attah said only edible items certified by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for human consumption would be released to the public.
“As a responsible agency of the government, customs appreciates the opportunity of contributing its quota to the Federal Government’s continuous efforts to provide relief for Nigerians in this difficult time.
“NCS remains committed to strictly adhering to all extant laws governing seized and overtime cargoes,” he added.