Youths in Ogun State have appealed to President Bola Tinubu to lift the ban on the supply of petroleum products in filling stations located in communities sharing borders with Benin Republic.
It was recalls that former President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2019 directed that there should be no supply of petroleum products in any filling stations within a 20-kilometre radius of the country’s land borders.
The move, the Buhari government said, was targeted at curbing bunkering and smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.
But, youths in Ipokia Local Government Area, a border community in Ogun State, are asking Tinubu to lift the ban immediately.
The youths, under the auspices of the Ipokia Local Government Youth Forum (IPYF), made the appeal in a statement by its Secretary, Adeyemi Sulaimon Olusegun, on Friday.
The group charged the Federal Government to lift the ban as the subsidy on fuel had been removed, saying this would ease the hardship on the residents of Ogun border communities.
The youths lamented that many communities in the border area had been cut off from power supply for the past 15 years, making it impossible for businesses to survive due to residents’ inability to buy fuel.
“It would interest you to know that only four fueling stations were approved to operate in Ipokia Local Government because of our continuous agitation and meetings with the necessary stakeholders. This is a LGA with a population of over 700,000 inhabitants.
“Most inhabitants have to travel as far as 20 km to get fuel to run their respective businesses, farm machinery, clinics/hospitals and daily domestic uses. This had subjected us to undue hardship for almost five years, and still counting,” the group said.
The residents cried out that they lack all forms of social amenities, stating that commercial activities had crumbled as most artisans and traders had deserted their communities to continue their daily businesses elsewhere, “as there is no power supply and yet again, they couldn’t get fuel for their daily businesses.”
In their request, they said: “The good people of Ipokia Local Government do solemnly plead with you to lift this suspension since the subsidy had been relinquished.”