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IPMAN cries out over ‘illegal’ customs’ seizures

The leadership of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Adamawa State has expressed frustration over the alleged harassment and molestation of its…

The leadership of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Adamawa State has expressed frustration over the alleged harassment and molestation of its members by the Nigeria Customs Service’s (NCS’s) anti-smuggling unit operating under the code name, Operation Whirlwind.

The state’s IPMAN Chairman, Alhaji Dahiru Buba, who alleged this during a press conference in Yola, said that customs officers had abandoned their designated areas of operation at the borders and were now targeting legitimate businesses in metropolitan and local government areas, leading to financial losses, artificial scarcity and hike in products’ prices.

He alleged that five of his PMS trucks were seized and that he had to write to the Comptroller General of Customs, adding that, “Eventually, four of them were returned with an apology letter.”

Buba further explained that six more of his trucks carrying PMS were seized by the Operation Whirlwind and that he had written to the CGC for the second time but that he was yet to receive any response, adding that several other illegal seizures were made in various privately owned filling stations.

He called on the National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu; Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, and Governor Kefas Agbu of Taraba State to intervene, and urged the customs service to cease its illegal actions.

The association emphasised that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu deregulated petroleum products, and, therefore, there should be no government interference in the monitoring or sales of such products.

 

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