The Nigerian Customs Services issued on Wednesday, November 6, a ban on the delivery of petroleum products to fuel stations located within 20 km (12 mi) of the country's land borders to curb trafficking. Consequently, some fuel stations along the borders have closed until further notice and those which remain open have experienced an increase in prices. As of Thursday, November 14, it remains unclear how long the measure will remain in place. Long lines at open fuel stations, transportation delays, and related demonstrations are anticipated in affected areas in the coming days.
The measure comes as Nigeria closed on August 20, its land borders with Niger, Benin, and Cameroon until at least January 31, 2020. Authorities stated that the move was meant to ensure neighbouring countries "agree on existing protocol on movement," to include enforcing the use of proper documentation among immigrants, and curtailing smuggling activities. Additional security patrols have been deployed to enforce the ban and secure the border.
Individuals in the area are advised to adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and fill up vehicles' tanks whenever fuel is available, ensure sufficient fuel reserves before all long journeys, and expect longer waiting times at gas stations.
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