The House of Representatives has asked the Nigeria Customs Service to lift the ban on supply of petroleum products to fuel stations at the land borders.
At Tuesday’s plenary session, the lower legislative chamber said the ban is having adverse effects on the lives of Nigerians especially those in border communities.
Customs Comptroller-General, Hameed Ali, last week directed that petroleum products should not be supplied to fuel stations within 20km of the borders, in order to check smuggling.
This was after reports that some fuel stations in border towns were channels for smuggling fuel to neighbouring countries.
But telecommunications operators in the country warned that the restriction could cause network disruptions.
In a letter to Executive Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, the operators said the ban is “already having huge negative impact on our members’ operations and this may be significant if the necessary agencies of government do not urgently intervene in the situation”.
Introducing a motion of urgent public importance, Sada Soli from Katsina state asked the House to intervene and direct the Customs to lift the ban.
He said the directive to suspend the supply of petroleum products to the stations contradict the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), and should be reviewed “with human face”.
Other lawmakers including Hassan Abdullahi from Kogi State also endorsed the call to lift the ban, which he described as “very draconian”.
“Many Nigerians are suffering from this directive and it is very absurd that an agency of government can add to the difficulty of Nigerians after shutting the boarder,” Abdullahi said.