Customs auction seized 55,164 litres of PMS in Sokoto

The Nigerian Customs Service, Sokoto/Zamfara Command, on Wednesday, auctioned 56,164 litres of Petroleum Motor Spirits seized from smugglers in Sokoto.

While declaring the exercise open, the command’s Comptroller, Kamal Muhammed, said the exercise was in compliance with the directives of Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale, aimed at discouraging smuggling in the country.

“You may wish to recall that sometimes ago, under the directive of the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale, the command auctioned 11.270 litres of Premium Motor Spirit popularly called petrol that was intercepted by operatives of Operation Whirlwind Sokoto/Zamfara axis.

“Due to the intensified clamp down on smugglers of petroleum products, the service made a seizure of 55,164 litres of PMS with a duty paid value of N38,669,964.00 within the period under review.

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“The breakdown of the seizure is as follows; the intelligence-driven tactical team code named Operation Whirlwind made a seizure of 28,116 litres while the Sokoto/Zamfara Area Command patrol teams made a seizure of 23,030 litres. Even with the subsidy removal, Nigeria still remains among the list of countries with the cheapest Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

“PMS is sold at an average of N701.99k per litre in the country while in Cameroon it is sold at N2,061.55k, Mali is N2,128.20k and N1,672.05k in the Republic of Benin. PMS price margin between Nigeria and other West African countries has made smuggling of the product an easy profit-making venture for smugglers as it fetches them two or three times its domestic price,” he stated.

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He attributed the current fuel scarcity across the country to the smuggling of petroleum products, adding that the command will ensure Nigeria’s economy is protected.

“The smuggling of the product has continued to create artificial scarcity in some parts of the country and also brought about additional burden on the country’s scarce foreign exchange used to import the product.

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“In line with the extant laws and the approval of the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale, the seized 55,164 Liters of PMS will today be auctioned to the general public at a token of N180. The Service will continue to protect Nigeria’s economic interest with dedication, justice and integrity,” he said.

The Controller, however, on behalf of the CG, warns the smugglers to desist from their actions.

He said, “Nigeria Customs Service will run you out of your illegitimate business.”

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