By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Operatives of the Zone ‘A’ of the Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service have intercepted and seized two units of tankers laden with poorly produced and substandard 80,055 liters of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), otherwise known as diesel in the Ijebu Ode area of Ogun State .
The Acting Controller of the unit, Deputy Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu while handing over the petroleum product to the officials of the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDPRA), said that the drivers of the trucks escaped upon sighting customs officers on patrol.
After careful study of the documents being used to convey the product and the analyses conducted on the samples, it was discovered that the papers were forged and the diesel were of poor quality and did not meet the standard.
The acting Controller said that the Customs wrote to NMDPRA to verify the status of the products and the authenticity of documents found in the vehicles which were both confirmed to be fake.
Giving a breakdown of the seizures and the particulars of means of conveyance, Acting Controller Ejibunu said that one of the tanker truck with registration number DBT 599 XA was laden with 44,450 liters while the other one with registration number USL 561 ZC had 35,605 liters of the AGO.
Deputy Comptroller Ejibunu warned that FOU Zone ‘A’s area of responsibility will always be a no go area for smugglers, duty evaders and perpetrators of other illegal activities.
He advised Nigeians to be patriotic and shun any form of commercial activity that runs foul of the law.
Patrick Musa, an official of the NMDPRA while receiving the seizures explained that the products were found to be off specification and fell below approved standards for use in Nigeria.
He added that the product could not have been lifted from any approved depots within the country.
Musa commended the Nigeria Customs Service for the seizure which he described as the good beginning of a productive synergy between NMDPRA and the NCS.
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