The Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Salihu Danladi has decried the artificial scarcity of fuel in some border communities.
According to him, this has resulted to hike in price of petroleum products in his immediate local government area, Baruten and called for immediate remedy.
The Lawmaker made these observations on Monday, in a meeting with the Acting Coordinator, Joint Border Drill, Sector 3, Kwara Customs, Comptroller Uba Garba Mohammed.
The Speaker, who was accompanied by his counterpart from Okuta/Yashikira constituency of Baruten local government, Honourable Mohammed Baba Salihu, noted that the artificial fuel scarcity in Baruten Local Government can be attributed to the efforts by the Nigerian Government towards checkmating smugglers who divert petroleum products allocated to filling stations in the area to neighboring countries.
He said “the sufferings of our people in Baruten communities is as result of the inordinate execution of Federal Government order banning fuel supply to filling stations located 20kilometers or below from border communities to checkmate smuggling activities.
As much as this step by the Nigerian Government is in good faith and supported by the Kwara State House of Assembly, we however noticed that security operatives in our communities, which are on the border routes, seize petroleum products lawfully allocated to communities like Ilesha, Sinawu, Gwanara among others with no direct route to, and over 20kilometers away from the country’s border,” Danladi said.
He disclosed that consequently, at the moment, a litre of petrol is sold for as high as between three hundred to three hundred and fifty Naira where it is rarely available.
He therefore, called on the Nigeria Customs Service to look into the matter and allow communities located in areas farther than the 20kilometers federal government benchmark to take petroleum products lawfully allocated to their filling stations, to enable the people access to the products and ameliorate their suffering.
The Acting Coordinator, Joint Border Drill, Sector 3, Kwara Customs, Comptroller Mohammed, who just resumed duty in Ilorin on Monday, thanked the legislators for intimating the sector of the development, noting that their plights would be swiftly looked into.
He assured the lawmakers that the traditional institutions and other stakeholders from the local government would be engaged to find a lasting solution to the problem.