Immigration seeks enhanced logistics for safeguarding marine borders

THE Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has demanded enhanced logistics to ensure proper discharge of its duties at Nigeria’s blue borders.

The Acting Comptroller General of the Service, Caroline Adepoju, while speaking to newsmen on Saturday, July 29, said the organisation has concluded plans to tighten the security of all marine borders across the country.

According to her, the Akwa Ibom Command had the longest coastal borders that must not be left porous to avoid nefarious activities within the maritime environment.

Speaking on the Federal Government’s recent tightening of air and land borders across the country, she explained that marine borders will also receive heightened security to prevent any vulnerabilities.

She however, noted that the government is resolute in providing the essential logistics required to ensure the safeguarding of the blue borders.

“Like I said, the Akwa Ibom State Command houses one of our longest coastal borders and we are working hard as we have done in the air and land borders, we want to tighten the security around coastal borders.

“We don’t want the marine area, the blue borders of Nigeria to be porous. We don’t want people of shady characters to perpetrate nefarious activities using our blue borders.

“That is why I am here and since I came, I discovered that in Nigeria Immigration Service, we have trained officers, we have dedicated officers, we have people who are willing to work, but we are in need of logistics.

“We need the government to help us, we need gunboats to be able to patrol our coastal borders. We need good offices and residential accommodation for our personnel, who are working in these coastal borders,” Adepoju said.

Adepoju further assured officers and men of the Command of the government’s commitment to improving their welfare, charging them to be dedicated and committed to their duties.

“I can assure you that when the time comes for promotion, those who are qualified will be promoted.”

On May 1, The ICIR reported that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved N52 billion to purchase E-border surveillance systems for the country.

The project was part of efforts to ensure effective monitoring of the nation’s borders through technology. Once fully implemented, the system would monitor and provide real-time information from major border posts in the country.

The project was also an effort to check the age-long porous border crisis bedeviling the country for years due to inadequate manpower.

Meanwhile, the allocation was different from the budget allocation the Federal Government has been allocating to the security agency over the years.

The former Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola, in 2019, identified 1, 400 illegal routes which had become access ways for cross-border criminal activities.






     

     

    “You will recall that when we came, I made the observation that our borders are very porous and diverse and that it is impossible to man these borders physically.”

    Similarly, the former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Mohammed Babandede, at a public function, lamented the inability of the Immigration officials to man the 140 border points in the country effectively.

    He also admitted to the porosity of the borders, alluding to the same argument that the nation’s borders cannot be effectively managed without a comprehensive surveillance system at the border points.  

    However, despite need for improved security surveillance at Nigeria’s borders, the project is yet to be completed.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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