Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) personnel have been accused of connivance with smugglers to move contraband into the country as well as harassing and exploiting local residents, under the guise of implementing the Federal Government’s policy on supply of petroleum products to petrol stations within 20 kilometres radius to the Borders.
Members of the Joint- House Committee on Custom and Excise, Petroleum (Downstream) and Interior , which is headed by the Chairman of the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Mohammed Gaya (Kano-APC) made the accusation at Plenary yesterday.
The Federal Government had through the Customs banned supply of petroleum products to areas and communities close to the borders. A motion rejecting the directive was brought to the House and adopted by the lawmakers who later referred it to the joint committee for investigation.
For instance ,at Thursday’s plenary, Sada Soli (APC-Katsina) accused Customs of connivance with smugglers, saying the policy has increased illegal activities around the border areas. He urged the federal government to take a second look at the policy.
He said: “Mr. CG you are a very honest person and some of your men, are also honest and I want to tell you that this policy would push people into illegal activities the more “You need to sit down and look at this policy because I believe some of your men pushed you to carry out this policy and a lot of them are benefiting from it the more. Sir, you might not agree with me because they are your men, but they are making more money now.
“We live on these borders and I’m telling you the reality. There’s a need to take intelligence and get this done once and for all because your men are extorting our people because of this policy. I must say I like this policy but your men are not doing their job, rather it is an open window for corruption