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Customs Concerned: Smugglers Attracted by Nigeria’s Fuel Quality and Price

In a revelation, the Nigeria Customs Service has identified the quality and price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, as the primary factors driving the ongoing issue of fuel smuggling out of the country. This announcement comes as the Customs Service celebrates significant revenue growth, surpassing its monthly revenue target.

Speaking at an event in Abuja marking his first 100 days in office, the Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, unveiled these findings. He noted that despite the halt in fuel subsidy announced by President Bola Tinubu in May of this year, which led to a substantial increase in the cost of petrol from around N198 per liter to approximately N617 per liter, smuggling of the commodity still persists.

The decision to discontinue fuel subsidy was prompted by reports of massive fuel smuggling out of Nigeria, primarily due to the remarkably low price of petrol within the country and the financial burden of the subsidy on the government. The government aimed to curb smuggling by raising fuel prices to international levels.

Adeniyi acknowledged that while fuel smuggling had decreased compared to previous levels, it remains a concern. The Customs Service continues to grapple with this issue as it evaluates potential strategies to address the persistent smuggling of petrol out of Nigeria.

In addition to this revelation, the Nigeria Customs Service reported a substantial increase in its revenue generation, with monthly collections rising from an average of N202 billion to N343 billion. This remarkable growth represents a 70% increase, and the Customs Service has successfully surpassed its monthly revenue target of N307 billion.

The Customs Service’s ability to surpass revenue expectations reflects its commitment to effective revenue collection and its ongoing efforts to combat smuggling and ensure compliance with customs regulations. The service remains dedicated to its mission of safeguarding Nigeria’s economic interests and maintaining the integrity of its customs operations.

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