The Hengo Badagry Youth Association, an Ogu Pressure Group has condemned the Federal Government’s directive on suspension of petroleum products supply to stations within 20 kilometers of all the country’s border posts.
The President of the association, Mr. Felix Godonu told newsmen on Friday in Badagry that the order will further increase the economic hardship within the border communities.
The Nigeria Customs Service on Wednesday suspended supply of petroleum products to petrol stations within 20 kilometres of all the border posts in the country.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), gave this directive to all commands through the Deputy Comptroller-General, Enforcement, Inspection, and Investigation, Augustine Chidi, in Abuja.
He stated that petroleum tankers must not be allowed to discharge content within 20 kilometres to borders.
According to Godonu, it is unfortunate that the Federal Government has turned deaf ears to the economic hardship experienced by its citizens.
He said that with the suspension of petroleum products to border areas, what would be the fate of the owners of those petrol stations and the attendants.
“What is the fate of the owners of those petrol stations who are doing legitimate businesses as well as paying taxes to this same government
“With this development, the FG is pushing them and their employees out into the labour market. The end result of such is not far-fetched – unemployment and crime.
“While Nigerians especially those of us that by providence found ourselves in border towns like Badagry are still battling to manage the leftovers of the border closure; then come this directive.
“Badagry has always been the weeping child of the FG because despite the huge amount of revenue generated through the NCS before the closure of the Border.
“Even with this revenue generated, there is no significant impact of the revenue on the ancient tourism endowed town.
“Our electricity supply has always been epileptic, the roads are frustrating and killing. No industries.
“The epileptic power supply experienced here has made several artisans abandoned their workshop for commercial motor cycling known as Okada.
“How do we get fuel to power the bikes and generators with this new directive?
“Our case is that of the goose that lays the golden eggs that is left to suffer,” he said.
The president said that with the ongoing closure of border, many people who were doing legitimate businesses were already out of job.
“Our experience in the last three months since the border closure has been terrifying.
“The joint task force on Gbaji bridge was causing heavy traffic leading to waste of human hours molestation of indigenes,” he said.
The president, however, called on Badagry representatives in both state and federal houses to come to their aid adding that the solution to headache is not cutting off the head.
“Our leaders should not wait until we are cut away from our country – Nigeria by the various action of the government all in the name of war against corruption.
“Without any reservations we are not smugglers in Badagry, we are law abiding and peaceful people and citizens of Nigeria,” he said.