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Telcos warn of disruption over stoppage of fuel supplies to border towns

Telcos warn of disruption over stoppage of fuel supplies to border towns
November 09
15:26 2019
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Telecom operators say some parts of the country will experience network disruptions as a result of the directive to stop diesel supply to base stations close to the border.

The federal government had, through the Nigeria Customs Service, directed that petroleum products should not be supplied to fuel stations within 20km of the borders, in order to check smuggling.

But PUNCH has reported that Gbenga Adebayo, chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), wrote to Umar Danbatta, executive chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), highlighting the implication of the directive.

Adebayo reportedly said by mid-day on Saturday, hub sites in Calabar area, Cross River state, would be shut down due to lack of diesel.

The letter read: “Following the directives by the Nigeria Customs Service in a circular dated Wednesday, November 6, 2019, directing all customs zonal coordinators not to allow petroleum product to be delivered to any filling stations within 20 kilometres radius of any border area in Nigeria.

“The directive is already having huge negative impact on our members’ operations and this may be significant if the necessary agencies of government do not urgently intervene in the situation.”

Maikanti Baru, the former group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had raised the alarm about the increasing number of filling stations in border towns, saying they are funnels for smuggling fuel to neighbouring countries.

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