The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has warned fishermen in Bakassi Local Government Area in Cross River to desist from smuggling petrol to Cameroon through the creeks.
Commandant of NSCDC in the state, Mr Samuel Fadeyi, gave the warning on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar.
Fadeyi said some fishermen were in the habit of buying large quantities of fuel in disguise of it being used for their boats, but they smuggled it to Cameroon through the creeks.
He told NAN that the command was strategising to curb the ugly trend.
“The major issue we are strategising on now is the issue of smuggling of petroleum product to Cameroon by some fishermen.
“These fishermen come to the mainland to buy this product, instead of using it for their boats; they divert it to Cameroon through the creeks.
“We are working together with the Navy and Operation Delta Safe to ensure that the act is stopped,” he said.
He explained that the command had earlier banned supply of petrol to the fishermen, but discovered that they were suffering from the ban, hence the lifted of the ban.
The commandant said that the floating station of the Nigerian National Petroleum Ltd. close to Marina, was no longer working; hence the station would have been the one to sustain the fishermen.
“We now only allow the fishermen some certain quantities of petrol, else, when we see larger quantities that are beyond a fisherman, we will suspect and ask questions.
“As a matter of fact, we have a boat that we are using in collaboration with the Navy in patrolling the waterways, especially the Bakassi area,” he said.
He said that the command was partnering all stakeholders to ensure that no pipeline was vandalised at the jetty.