Senate President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, has entrusted the paramilitary firms to stem the tide of fuel smuggling out of Nigeria, stating that the pattern was an economic sabotage against the
country. He spoke at a meeting with heads of paramilitary companies on Tuesday, at the backdrop of development that the Federal government would no longer get rid of fuel aid anytime soon as was divulged by the Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed throughout a meeting with the Senate management on Monday.
He stated it’s essential that the current administration should try to find a method forward in the management and administration of fuel subsidies in Nigeria.
Lawan said they were aware of the smuggling of petroleum products, which the federal government was still spending for the aid, while he asked the security operatives to stop the smugglers at all expense.
According to him, he convened the meeting to look for methods to checkmate the smuggling of petroleum products outside Nigeria borders in order to similarly decrease the cost of fuel aid, insisting that the federal government can not continue to pay aid for products not taken in locally.
Lawan acknowledged the effort of paramilitary firms in combating smugglers which he said have been herculean, but said, they were participating in another special moment as the smuggling of petroleum products would have to be minimised at all expense.
“Our scenario is such that we can not afford any longer to enable this smuggling service to continue because the expense is extremely substantial and crippling to our individuals.
“At some point, I will hold a meeting with the National Security Adviser, who is supposed to collaborate the whole security apparatus for protecting our borders.
He assured to further engage the military, especially the Navy, given that the products are transferred through waterways.
He said: “At the end of the day, what we wish to attain is to minimise or where possible eliminate the incidents of smuggling of petroleum items that we import into the nation for our individuals.
“The figures of what we consume in the nation continue to vary. At one point it was practically 100 million litres per day and surely this is tough to believe that we consume almost 100 million litres each day within our borders. Definitely, a good portion of it heads out.
In participation at the meeting were the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali(rtd), Commandant General, Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, Ahmed Abubakar Audi, representative of the Director-General of the State Security Service, San Gesto and representative of the Comptroller General of Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Ishaka Abdulmumini