A total of 66 filling stations across the border communities of Nigeria has reopened for commercial activities in order to ease fuel scarcity in those areas.
The Acting Coordinator of the Border Drill Operation, Sector 3, Compt. Garba Mohammed, disclosed this in an interview in Ilorin on Tuesday.
Sector 3 of the Task Force covers Benue, Kogi, Kwara and Niger States of North Central Nigeria.
Mohammed said that government has approved border filling stations, granted waivers to lift and supply petroleum products for sale to border communities.
He said that the affected areas include Cross River/Akwa Ibom border areas, Kano/Jigawa border areas, Katsina border areas, Kebbi border areas and Kwara border areas.
“The Federal Government approved 66 filling stations across all the border stations in the country, to allow the citizens to have access for legitimate use of petroleum products.
“Including Kwara state that have been allocated with six in Baruten and Kaima Local Goverment Areas.
“These include AGIP Nig Ltd at Chikanda border town; OANDO PLC at Kishi road, Kaima; Ibro Lak Nig Ltd, Kaima; Ajoke Oil Ltd at Nikki Peru
“Ademag Nig. Ltd at Gwarnara, along Ilesha-Baruba Bakura axis, and YUS Mash Nig. Ltd at Okuta town, along Kaima road,” Mohammed said.
The acting coordinator said that the directive to close all filing stations at border communities became necessary because of the atrocities been committed at the border areas.
“People who engage in illegality are those that made government to make these decisions, but the government, been an umbrella for all, is now considering the plight of the border communities,” he said.
He said that the proliferation of filling stations in border communities and people engaging in illegalities had influenced the decision of stopping fuel supply to the affected communities.
“The committee of border drill discovered that the number of population in those affected areas, compared to the number of available filling stations is alarming, but the agencies that grants license are now having another consideration,” he said.
Mohammed said that there would be a way that petrol will be dispensed to such communities, but only to genuine traders and users, not for illegal exportation.
He explained that the aim of government was to protect and improve the economy, and integrate individuals for the development of the nation.
The hardship suffered by the people at Baruten prompted the Speaker of Kwara House of Assembly, Mr Yakubu Danladi, to visit the acting coordinator of Sector 3 of the Border Drill Sector, Compt. Mohammed Garba, recently in his office in Ilorin.
The speaker told the coordinator of the hardship people in four districts in Baruten local government area were experiencing as a result of the border closure.
Danladi said the hardship was being faced by four districts, namely; Ilesha, Baruba, Okuta and Chikanda axis, and appealed to the sector coordinator to reconsider the decision of fuel supply to the affected border communities.
As a result of the border closure, a litre of petrol is now being sold for between N400 and N450.
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazak had also urged the Joint Border Operation Drill of the Nigeria Custom Service to open few filling stations in Kwara north, in order to ease the difficulty of fuel scarcity.
The governor pleaded with Customs to open at least four filling stations in the areas affected, where people can have access to fuel and ease their difficulty.