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Arewa Think Tank raises concern over PMS smuggling along northern borders

The Arewa Think Tank (ATT) has raised concerns over what it called increased smuggling of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) along the Borno, Kebbi, Sokoto, Taraba…

The Arewa Think Tank (ATT) has raised concerns over what it called increased smuggling of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) along the Borno, Kebbi, Sokoto, Taraba and Katsina states’ borders.

The group, which noted that the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Adewale Adeniyi is making strides in the war against smugglers of contraband goods into the country, added that there is a need to consolidate the successes recorded with ‘Operation Whirlwind’ in these northern states’ borders to actualise President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision for Nigeria’s economy.

Muhammad Alhaji Yakubu, the Chief Convener of the group, said in a statement yesterday that the newly formed tactical team, Operation Whirlwind, established with the aim of combating the smuggling of petroleum products in particular to neighbouring countries, has been a huge success in states like Adamawa, Cross River, and some parts of Sokoto, with major interceptions of over 200,000 litres of PMS from these areas within this month.

“The initiative has indeed reduced pressures that may be attributed to the activities of smugglers and dismantled their cartels within the ecosystem, and there is a relative stability of the price of PMS around the border states, which is easily attributed to disruptions in the operations of smugglers.

“It is, however, lamentable the unfortunate increase in smuggling of PMS across Borno, Kebbi, Sokoto, Taraba, and Katsina states’ borders. It is commendable, however, that the Service deemed it necessary to collaborate with the NSA to come up with a lasting solution to ensure that Nigerians enjoy the full benefits of fuel price deregulation in line with the vision of President Tinubu,” he said.

While commiserating with the CG of Customs over the death of Deputy Comptroller Essien Etop Andrew of Finance Administration and Technical Service Department, who slumped and died at the National Assembly while fielding questions from members of the House of Representatives committee, the group urged the Customs boss not to be discouraged in the fight against smugglers in order to improve the revenue base of the federal government and that he should remain focused and not be distracted.

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