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Nigeria Customs faces criticism over alleged delay in implementing presidential directive on LPG import duties

National President of LPG Marketers Berates Customs for Alleged Reluctance, Causing Demurrage Costs and Consumer Price Concerns

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The National President of the Nigeria Association of LPG Marketers, Oladapo Olatunbosun, has expressed dissatisfaction with the Nigeria Customs Service’s purported hesitancy to execute the presidential directive on zero import duties for gas items, including imported liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The directive, issued approximately three weeks ago by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, aimed to curb the escalating prices of LPG.

While commending President Tinubu for the timely intervention, Olatunbosun criticized government agencies, particularly the Nigeria Customs Service, for what he claims is a lack of compliance with the directive. Despite circulars from the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, urging prompt action, Olatunbosun alleges that Customs has been reluctant to implement the presidential order.

Olatunbosun voiced concern about the financial burden on their members as imported items continue to accrue demurrage due to the Customs’ alleged refusal to act. He warned that these additional costs would inevitably be passed on to end-users, undermining the intended goal of reducing LPG prices.

He stated, “Many of our members have their items in the ports now, incurring demurrage on a daily basis because Customs will refuse to carry out the President’s directive. This is our major problem in this country; many times our leaders mean very well for the people, but those who are to implement the government order will rather choose to do what they like.”

Expressing disappointment in the Customs Service’s response, Olatunbosun emphasized the positive impact the directive could have on expanding gas utilization and lowering prices for consumers. He urged President Tinubu to intervene and ensure the Customs Service adheres to the directive.

In response to the criticism, the National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Maiwada, clarified that the agency had not refused to implement the directive. He explained that Customs received the letter on December 12 and promptly issued circulars to state commands by December 15, outlining the directive’s implementation process. However, Maiwada noted that the waiver was subject to the submission of an approval letter from the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, introducing a necessary caveat.

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