Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has said a complaint centre with a dedicated telephone number will be activated where citizens can lodge complaints to curtail alleged sharp practices by security men and paramilitary officers in border towns.
Abiodun made this known at the weekend, while reacting to complaints of extortion lodged by members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), South West chapter, who visited him in his office at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
According to the governor, when the complaints centre becomes fully operational, citizens would have direct access to government where complaints of harassment and intimidation could be made.
IPMAN members had embarked on industrial action to protest extortion by security personnel along the border corridors in Ogun State
But Abiodun, while addressing the petroleum marketers, emphasised that the establishment of the complaint centre became necessary to forestall some security personnel who often arm-twist, harass and intimidate businessmen and women and dispossess them of their goods along the border routes.
He said as an investor-friendly government, his administration would not allow investors like petroleum marketers to be harassed.
“As partners in the quest of building an economically viable state, petroleum marketers would be protected against extortion, illegal rates and nefarious activities of federal or state officials.
“We will be having a citizens complaints number. This will be a dedicated number that anyone who feels harassed, intimidated or extorted can call round the clock. No law enforcement agency, traffic agency or revenue agency is allowed to misbehave in Ogun State.
“Once that happens, you just call that number, give the description of who you are and the person who is trying to extort or harass you.
“Our tanker drivers, independent petroleum marketers are people who are investors in our state and this state is an investor-friendly one; so we will do everything to support our investors.
We will not allow you to be harassed, intimidated or extorted by anyone under any guise, I can assure you,” Abiodun said.
He, however, thanked the IPMAN leadership for calling off the industrial action to alleviate the suffering of people living in the border towns. He assured them his administration would do all within its capacity to ensure they carry out their legitimate businesses without any hindrance.
IPMAN Chairman, Dele Tajudeen, said they came to express their grievances on the harassment of the joint task force of Customs and the military personnel.
He called on the Federal Government to properly indicate where the 20km set-back for petroleum products starts and ends.