The Sokoto/Zamfara Command of the Nigerian Customs Service conducted an auction on Wednesday, selling off 56,164 litres of Petroleum Motor Spirits (PMS) seized from smugglers in Sokoto.

Speaking at the commencement of the auction, Controller Kamal Muhammed emphasized that the exercise was carried out in accordance with directives from the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale, aimed at curbing smuggling activities in the country.

VERIFIED: Nigerians can now earn US Dollars with premium domains just like Americans, acquire for as low as $1200 and you profit $19000 (₦23million). Click here to start.

Muhammed recalled a previous auction where 11,270 litres of PMS were sold, intercepted by operatives of Operation Whirlwind in the Sokoto/Zamfara axis.

He highlighted that due to intensified efforts against smugglers, the command seized an additional 55,164 litres of PMS during the recent period, valued at N38,669,964.00 in duty.

Providing a breakdown, Muhammed noted that the Operation Whirlwind tactical team seized 28,116 litres, while patrol teams from the Sokoto/Zamfara Area Command confiscated 23,030 litres.

Despite the removal of subsidies, he pointed out that Nigeria still maintains one of the lowest prices for PMS globally, at an average of N701.99 per litre, compared to N2,061.55 in Cameroon, N2,128.20 in Mali, and N1,672.05 in the Republic of Benin.

Muhammed underscored that the price disparity has made smuggling PMS a lucrative venture for criminals, leading to artificial scarcity in some regions and placing a strain on Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves used for importation.

In adherence to existing laws and the approval of the Comptroller General, the seized 55,164 litres of PMS were auctioned to the public at a nominal price of N180 per litre. He affirmed the Customs Service’s commitment to safeguarding Nigeria’s economic interests with dedication, fairness, and integrity.

The Controller issued a stern warning to smugglers, asserting that the Nigerian Customs Service will vigorously pursue and dismantle illegal operations affecting the nation’s economy.