The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has disclosed that it seized 174,015 litres of smuggled petroleum products worth N27, 755,492 in a year.
According to further breakdown, the NCS listed Seme, the border town between Nigeria and Republic Benin notorious for smuggling, as the preferred choice of the illicit trade.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, the spokesman of the agency, Joseph Attah, that NCS had been doing much to stop illegal products from being exported, and ensure that prohibited goods were not smuggled into the country.
He said: “In the case of petroleum products, the statistics here is that of January 2017 to January 2018. A total of 174,015 litres have been seized across the commands.
“Further breakdown shows that within this period, 81,270 litres of petroleum products were seized at Seme border, 69,150 litres at West Martine Command, 10,000 litres at Federal Operations Unit Zone D, that is the Northeast.
“In Sokoto, 1,775 litres were seized, 10,5,00 litres in Ogun, 1,320 litres in Adamawa/Taraba, totalling 174,015 litres with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N27, 755,492.
“This is the value of what have been seized across the country by the NCS, in our efforts to ensure that petroleum products are not smuggled out of the country.’’
Attah further said though anti-smuggling efforts by the service had improved, new methods had been devised by smugglers to carry out their illicit operations.
“So, it makes the job of policing the movement of petroleum products on motor bikes more difficult, (because) there are many border stations that have up to 30 to 40 filling stations,” he added.
“So, a review on who get licensed and where the filling station are going to be located, should be considered before issuing licenses, we believe this will be helpful in curtail smuggling.
“We will continue to ensure that petroleum products are not smuggled out, we will continue to be on the lookout and if we see three to four Jerry cans on motor bikes, we will definitely go after them. “Because they may just be petroleum products being smuggled out.”