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National Assembly fault Customs directive on fuel supply ban

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The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to immediately halt the directive stopping the dumping of petroleum products in filling stations located 20 kilometres from the Nigerian border.

The House said the directive runs counter to the laws establishing the NCS, and imposes more suffering on Nigerians living in the border communities who are already suffering from the closure of the nation’s border.

Coming under matters of urgent national importance, Hon. Sada Soli (APC, Katsina) informed the House that the over 2000 communities living along the Nigerian border are already suffering from the closure of the border by the government, adding that the directive of the Customs will further inflict further hardship on the people.

He said the Comptroller-General of Customs issued a directive stopping the supply of petroleum products to filling stations 20 kilometers from the Nigerian border, adding that the directive violates the Customs and Excise Act, adding that only the Department of Petroleum Resources has the power to halt such supply.

He expressed concern that the directive is likely to cause untold hardship, leading to possible loss of lives and jobs, adding that with the Christmas and New Year celebration coming up in a few weeks, the impact of the directive will be too grave on the people.

He said the sudden directive was unconstitutional, pointing that few days into the directive, Nigerians living along the borders are already paying as high as N1000 for a gallon of petrol, pointing out that the filling stations to be affected by the directive were approved for construction by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

He said the argument of the NCS that the directive is meant to halt smuggling cannot be justified and should therefore look at the issue with a human face.

He stressed that Nigerians are already suffering from the impact of border closure, adding that Nigeria can get what they want without imposing hardship on the people.

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