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Border closure: House of Reps urges Nigerian Customs to review ban of petroleum supply

...Probes N-Teach programme


The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Customs Service to review its ban on the supply of petroleum products to border communities as it contravened the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act as amended.

The House also mandated its Committees on Interior, Customs abs Excise and Petroleum Resources (Downstream to engage the Minister of Interior, the Minister of State for Petroleum, the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs and the Group Managing Director of National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with a view to reviewing the situation and ameliorating the suffering of Nigerians living in the border towns and report back within two weeks for further legislative action.

These resolutions were reached Tuesday at plenary sequel to a motion of urgent public importance on the review of the directives of Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service on the suspension of Petroleum Products supply to Filling Stations within 20 Kilometers to the Nation’s Borders, moved by Sada Soli (APC, Katsina).

Soli in a lead debate stated that the inhabitants of these border towns are already feeling the brunt of the border closure and to now deny them petroleum products which would adversely affect hospitals, businesses and the supplementing of the source of epileptic power without due consultation and enlightenment, was most insensitive to the plight of these Nigerians.

He stated that being from Jibia in Katsina State which is also a border community; he has seen first-hand the adverse effects of this operation as the price of petroleum had skyrocketed beyond what was the reach of the common man and called on the House to call the Customs Service to order as the action is unconstitutional.

Supporting the motion, Abdullahi Abdulkadir stated that the decision of the Nigeria Customs Service was draconian and aimed at increasing the level of suffering of the people without consideration of the effects and called on the Nigeria customs to reverse the decision.

Also, the House has resolved that its Committees on Sustainable Development Goals and Youth Development should immediately investigate the alleged arbitrariness in the management of the N-Teach Programme and report back to the House within the next three weeks.

This decision was taken following a motion of urgent public importance on the need to investigate the arbitrariness and posse corruption in the N-Power Programme of the Federal Government sponsored by Oluga Taiwo (APC, Osun).

In leading the debate, Oluga stated that the beneficiaries who had their stipends withheld were supposed to be those with queries on truant behaviour, but that it had become worrisome, especially in the Southwestern states where credible teachers had their stipends withheld without any queries or stipulated offence.

She urged the House to investigate the issue to set the records straight if the programme was becoming discriminatory or some people were trying to sabotage the good efforts of the federal government aimed at helping out Nigerians, and maybe carry out some form of financial mismanagement.

James Kwen, Abuja

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