How can smuggling of petroleum product across the border be curbed? 

Barrister Micheal Ovien (Lawyer) 

What should be done is for the Nigerian government to strengthen security at the border areas so that smuggling of the fuel outside the shores of this country would be curbed, because if we don’t, we would continue to lose a lot of money to these smugglers. For example, somebody loaded about 40,000 litres of fuel from the depot here,  and he is supposed to take it to one of the filling stations, but along the line, he decided to take it out of the country, this would cause damage on fuel supply and cost. If the Immigration, Customs, Army,  border Police put their hands together there, there is no way the smugglers can overshadow the security outfit of this country, we know that you cannot just eradicate smuggling just like that, but as time goes on, it would definitely come to a halt, it is a persistent way of fighting crime which is a parasite eating deep into the economy of this country, we are losing a lot of money.  I want the government to build up the security outfits and sanitize them. The navy should be on ground to tackle those using barges to take products out of this country, navy should be well paid so that they would not see crime as the best way to make a living. 

Sunny Nnebe (PTML Chairman, IFFA)            

Government should increase pump price and stop subsidy payment. Once the profit margin is not commensurate with the risk, smuggling of the product will automatically cease. There's no doubt that border security could compromise, all is just because the price margin is high.  Increase price and it will die naturally. I strongly believe that further deregulation of the downstream sector would solve many problems associated with petroleum supply. 

 

Zebulon Ikokide (Institute of Freight Forwarders)

Government should hands-off importation and sale of petroleum products and let the private sector do it and market forces determine the pump price.

 

Sulaimon Adeola (ANLCA at PTML)

The solution is very simple, a society that the foundation is based on lies and entrusted in hands of people who are not trusted, definitely it must experience negative results.   Furthermore, Government have taken a bold step in trying to privatise Nigeria's refineries, if they are sold out, definitely it will go a long way because the refineries will start functioning well. 

Again, NNPC or DPR should have the data-base of all petrol stations in Nigeria, in every state and local government, with this, each petrol truck living the depot to a particular station can easily be monitored. However, if we continue to import fuel, it would be difficult to eradicate diversion or smuggling of fuel. 

 Jones Idemili (ARFFN)

We have security operatives, you know that. All those smuggling are happening there because of lack of close monitoring and all that has been the problem with the security system here in Nigeria. Customs should do what they are supposed to do and not only pursue vehicles and containers. These are some of the things they are supposed to be doing too. Let them set up a permanent task force, it shouldn’t be a temporary body. I expect the government to ensure that this responsibility is given to the Customs to ensure that smuggling of petrol through the land borders is stopped. Our borders are very porous and smuggling is an illegal activity which should not be condoned.

 

Dr Obiora Madu (Multimix)

We have customs, military and police, so it shouldn’t be difficult fighting smuggling at the borders. It is a government-to-government thing. Let the government tighten up the security at the borders. All these problems can also be monitored electronically; the only thing is that we are not serious.

 

Paul Ndibe (CILT)

This is also the duty s of the customs; if you have borders that are manned and well policed these things will not come in. But if the borders are porous, certainly smuggling will take place. So what the government will do is to mount appropriate security measures to ensure that it is a controlled movement so that they can be able to documents whatever that goes out and comes in. Those that are not expected to come in shouldn’t come in and those that are not expected to go out shouldn’t go out. But there should be free movement on our borders that is in the spirit of the integration of Africa. 

 

Increase Uche (NAGAFF)

The government should do the right thing; they should force action to revive our refineries to start producing. As long as they keep exporting crude, smuggling will continue. So let the refineries work. 

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