When Mohammed Aliyu, Comptroller , Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone, A, established the anti-bunkering team and stationed them at Gbaji checkpoint, along the Lagos- Seme Expressway, may have expected the team to be transferring hundreds of 25 Kg , jerry cans of 25 Kg of petrol daily to the Government warehouse, GWH, controlled by the Command daily .
This is because of the impression that had been created in the mind of people that Nigeria was losing millions of naira annually to petrol bunkerers around the Seme, Badagry and Owode axis, under the Seme Command. He has every reason to believe so because of the too many licensed filling stations by the Department of Petroleum Resource which are cited at the Border Communities in Ogun and Lagos state, between Nigerian and Republic of Benin.
Note that there have been reports making the rounds in both official and unofficial circles that trucks load of petrol heading to these Border filling stations eventually develop K-leg at night despite the several security agencies checkpoints including Customs Checkpoints , both approved and unapproved along the Border routes. The worry in mind of people was that these loaded trucks with products ment for Seme and Owode axis filling stations are strictly monitored by the security agencies personnel on the road to ensure that it was not diverted.
In establishing the Command anti- anti-bunkering Unit, which was a replication of what he did at Seme Command as the Area Comptrollers, he had mandated them to always escort all loaded incoming trucks to ensure strict compliance in discharging the products to the approved filling stations in the Border Communities. They have a mandate to scrutinise the documents provided by the truck drivers to avoid diversion. but that was how far they could go.
When The Value News visited Owode -Apa Border axis recently, to monitor what is happening at the Border filling stations but was found was astonishing. A truck was found discharging petrol at a filling stations at about 12 am , but by the nest day, the fuel attendants claimed that their tanks have been exhausted by motorists plying the road.
The question on the lips of people is:
The Magazine findings shows that most of the filling station owners in the have devised a way of smuggling the product to Republic of Benin by connecting a hidden hose to their fuel tanks from the Beninois side of the Border filling station.It is not surprising why petrol are sold on bottles along the Seme- Cotono or Owode to other Beninois communities in the area.
Many had expected the Aliyu, anti-Bunkering officers along the Border routes in Ogun and Lagos state to be making seizures of kegs of petrol daily, but it had turned out to be a job for the boys, fueling speculations that the Unit may have been created to satisfy some interest in the Command and the Customs Headquarters. The magazine cited some of the anti-bunkering officers at Gbaji Bridge competing with the resident and another labeled , anti-smuggling officers Unit to in searching buses and other vehicles for smuggled foreign par boiled rice and poultry products, instead of patrolling the Creeks that have been identified over the years for smuggling of petrol into Republic of Republic .
Recall that in 2018, the combined patrol team of Seme Command and the FOU, Zone A, intercepted about 2,200 jerrycans of smuggled petrol with a Duty Paid Value of over N10 million. Most of the seizures, were said to have been made at Pashin -Yekeme Community in Owode and the Creeks around the area. Note that Aliyu was the Comptroller of Seme Command while Muhammed Uba Garba, was then Comptroller of FOU, Zone A.
Many believe that the FOU, anti- bunkering Unit, stationed along the Lagos- Seme -Owode- Apapa road may not have made any impact in the last couple of months because the Seme Command anti-smuggling officers have taking over everywhere in the Seme and Owode Border axis, thus , to forestall the selling of petrol in jerry cans in filling stations, reducing the FOU team, to toll collectors.
Eye witness account of the activities of the Unit officers FOU, Zone A,