Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has claimed that the smuggling of Nigeria’s subsidized petrol to neighbouring countries is supported by the government.
During an interview with TheCable on Wednesday, August 18, Falana recalled how he pleaded with the government for NNPC to build mega stations in neighbouring countries like Cameroon, Togo, Benin, and Ghana.
The human rights activist also claimed that these smugglers are accompanied by criminally minded security personnel.
According to him;
“Sometimes these smugglers are accompanied by criminally minded security people. And now to stop this nefarious crime, I have pleaded with the government; let NNPC build mega stations in the neighbouring countries, Cameroon, Togo, Benin up to Ghana. “Once you do that, Nigeria will supply directly. I mean, if I take off in Lagos here going to Cotonou and you’re going to Ibadan, I’ll get to Cotonou before you. What is the problem? But because the business of smuggling is officially carried out. “Last year, DPR said that our consumption rate is 38.2 million litres per day. A few months later, NNPC claimed that the figure had jumped to 102 million litres. “The entire fuel consumed in the entire West African region is not up to that figure, it’s not up to 100 million litres. That is, from Dakar, Senegal to Nigeria.”
Falana noted that Hameed Ali, the comptroller-general of customs, has been on the neck of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) about the smuggling of gasoline out of frustration.
In his view, NNPC could set up mega stations in neighbouring countries by following the building-up model followed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).