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Customs To Tackle Smugglers As Nigeria Fuel Sells For N1,700/Litre in Neighbouring Countries

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Amidst growing concerns over the resurgence of petrol smuggling, Nigerian petrol, reportedly smuggled into West African markets, is being sold for as high as N1,700 per litre.

At a press briefing held in Yola on Tuesday, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, emphasized the urgency of collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser to combat the challenge.

Adeniyi stated, “The Federal Government made the bold strategic decision to remove the fuel subsidy about a year ago, aiming to free up substantial funds for other sectors, reduce pressure on foreign exchange reserves, and diversify economic growth.”

“Despite inflationary pressures, comparative studies reveal that fuel prices in Nigeria remain the cheapest in the West and Central African region.”

Adeniyi cited data indicating that while petrol is sold at an average of N701.99 per liter in Nigeria, it is priced at an average of N1,672.05 in Benin Republic and N2,061.55 in Cameroon.

Adeniyi highlighted concerning patterns of petrol evacuation, particularly in border states, citing significant increases in evacuation volumes not justified by economic or demographic changes.

“In response to the alarming increase in fuel smuggling, the NCS, in collaboration with the NSA, initiated Operation Whirlwind,” Adeniyi announced.

“This nationwide operation aims to ensure Nigerians benefit fully from fuel price deregulation, defend the national currency, dismantle smuggling cartels, and raise awareness in local communities to garner their support.”

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