FOU Zone ‘A’ Impound 2 Tanker Load of ‘Substandard Diesel’
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Acting Controller of the Federal Operations Unit Zone A, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Deputy Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu has alerted the country to the circulation of suspected substandard Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), otherwise known as diesel.
Ejibunu who dropped the hint yesterday during the handover of the product to the relevant department of government, informed that operatives of the unit intercepted and proceeded to impound two units of tankers laden with 80,055 liters of the product, following preliminary laboratory checks which indicated that the product was substandard.
Ejibunu while handing over the two tankers of product to officials of the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDPRA), said that they were intercepted in the Ijebu Ode area of Ogun State, further stating that the drivers of the trucks escaped upon sighting customs officers on patrol.
The unapologetic anti-smuggling chief said after careful study of the documents used in conveying 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 required standard.
According to him, to ensure that the matter was pursued to its logical conclusion, 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, Ejibunu said that while one of the tankers with registration number DBT 599 XA was laden with 44,450 liters, the other with registration number USL 561 ZC had a total of 35,605 liters. He enjoined Nigeians to join hands with the customs service in exposing these sort of illicit trade and their perpetrators, in order to avoid the mutual risk substandard petroleum products poses to all citizens.
The representative of NMDPRA, Mr. Patrick Musa who received the consignment said the products were have been found to be off specification and therefore below approved standards for use in Nigeria; and expressed doubt that the product have been lifted from any approved depots. 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.