Ogun Monarch Seeks Resumption Of Fuel Supply To Border Areas

Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle

The Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle has called on the Federal Government to lift the ban placed on fuel supply to border communities across the country.

A first class king in Ogun State made the call while speaking with the Customs Area Controller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Compt. Kolawole Oladeji who paid him a courtesy visit at his palace in Ilaro.

LEADERSHIP recalls that due to smuggling of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and other illegal activities happening at the border areas, the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari placed a 20-kilometre ban on sales of petroleum products in border communities.

Then, the immediate past Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), in a memo on November 6, 2019, ordered that petroleum tankers can no longer go beyond 20 kilometres inwards an international border.

Seeking the reversal of the policy, the paramount ruler of Yewa land, Oba Olugbenle said, “It is like we are ceding the areas to Benin (Republic). The quantity supplied even to the free areas is also inadequate, and everybody now runs to Ilaro and Owode to buy fuel.”

Moreover, he argued that since there is no longer fuel subsidy, there is no need sustaining the ban on fuel supply to the borders.

He further urged the government to give the young ones something legal to do from its list of tradable items since rice is off it, adding, “We don’t have jobs for them, and an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

The paramount ruler further urged the service to always reach out to them when there is an issue, stating that most of the conflicts and loss of lives would be avoidable if everyone comes to table to resolve issues.

Acknowledging the reign of peace at the borders since the new CGC, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi returned the service to professionalism, he said, “Now you have the responsibility to promote professionalism and not allow others to take over your profession.”

He further stated that though frictions still exist, especially given the harsh economy and high unemployment rate in the country, the monarch said there had not been killings as before.

Speaking earlier, the Comptroller FOU Zone A, Compt. Oladeji, described Ilaro as very crucial to the success of his job, being a very large city close to the border areas.

He told the monarch that the team was in his palace on a courtesy call and to receive his blessings after his recent resumption of duty at the unit.

“There is a lot of improvement in our relationship with the communities following also in the footsteps of the CGC,” adding, “We believe that if the Obas talk to their people on the workings of the customs, we will have less infractions.”

Therefore, he pleaded with the Oba to take the Customs operatives as his children, and not hesitate to call their attention whenever the need arises.

Meanwhile, Compt. Oladeji who also visited the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, CP Abiodun Alamutu reassured him of collaboration in the discharge of the common duties against cross-border criminalities and economic sabotage.

Alamutu, however, explained that the visit was strategic to customs operations as most of the border areas had been benefiting from the cordial working relationship between both agencies.

He described the synergy between the police and Customs operatives in the state as “superb” saying, “I felt the need to familiarise with you because of the peace and tranquility that pervades this area; to thank you for the assistance of the Nigeria Police because each time we had an issue, they are always the first port of call.”

On his part, the CP said the visit was “a testament to the strong synergy and partnership that has been existing in our agencies, especially in our efforts to ensure that there is peace and security in our nation.

“I want to reassure you that the Ogun State Command is strongly in tune with the Nigeria Customs service. We have been working collaboratively to succeed in ensuring that there is peace and security in the state.”

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