Petrol drivers accuse customs of extortion, illegal detain of trucks
Fuel scarcity maybe looming in Kano as petroleum tanker drivers vowed to embark on industrial action over alleged extortion and harassment of men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Besides, the tanker owners accused Customs of detaining their trucks illegally with full loaded products in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina, thereby frustrating supply of the product in the Northwest.
Speaking with Journalists in Kano, Zonal Chairman, North West, of National Association of Tankers Owners (NATO), Alh. Sani Danfulani lamented that Customs has decided to go spew with unclear mission to indiscriminately impounding their trucks loaded with products worth millions of naira without recourse to economic consequences.
Alh. Danfulani who alleged that Customs officers are now taking the opportunity of Federal government policy that outlaw movement of petroleum product within 20 kilometers distance away from border areas to extort and impound tankers, wondered why the agency would arrest trucks in Kano and Jigawa states, which are not less than 200 kilometers away from the border.
Danfulani who challenged the activities of Customs on what he considered illegal arrest, claimed that only the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) who is entrusted by law could determine the movement of tankers and whether or not it was on diversion mission.
“The Customs has no authority to arrest tankers within the city because their activities is at the border. They accused us of diversion and we considered that allegation as act of ignorant.
What they are capitalizing on is the federal government policy that restrict tankers from going close to border, at least 20 kilometers away from border and we as law abiding citizens, we have never go against government laws.
“Customs will now go ahead to arrest our tankers within Kano and Jigawa, about 200 kilometers away from border.
They accused us of diversion, let them call the DPR who are supposed to monitor movement of petroleum products and find out the truth.
Products can be taken to a third party in any location or to any marketer at any location who will later transport it to the owner. This transactions are basic things DPR knows”.
Reacting to the allegation, the spokesperson of Customs, Kano area command, Mr Danbaba debunked the allegation. Danbaba in a text message read “ the allegations that customs seized tankers in Kano is incorrect.
“The tankers are arrested at Kano-Daura road conveying product meant to be uploaded at Kura, Kano, Birnin-Kudu and Gumel. The said trucks containing PMS are intended to be diverted, to be smuggled out of the country.”
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