Nigeria borders are not adequately monitored, no doubt but if the borders are porous, who should be blamed? We need to ask ourselves what are the rules and regulation that guide and protect the borders, are the rules properly followed? If not so, we need to ask the authorities protecting the borders questions.
I am pretty sure we have more than enough security agencies at the border points. We have Police, Customs, Immigration Service and the NDLEA so if with all the presence of all these agencies, we still have banned consignments coming into the country then we need to ask the authorities questions.
Stating the obvious our borders are not properly policed because one unique thing about our south western and even the northern borders are that the border communities speak the same language that you never can tell when you enter another country.
For instance, look at the Nigeria/Benin Republic border; we have official borders and unofficial border points through which the smugglers both big and small bring in consignments into the country without paying duty even when the consignments are dutiable. Besides, it is on records that not less than 2,000 vehicles are smuggled into the country on daily basis through unapproved routes and this confirms how ‘secure’ our borders were.
It is no news that there are relationships between customs and smugglers at the border point. The customs tell the smugglers when to move their consignments and when not to move. Not that the border is not managed but the fact is that it is not managed properly. Also, we should all know that part of what contributed to this problem is at the border, money changing hand and customs officers colluding with smugglers to bring in either substandard, fake or banned goods into the country.
Though, these consignments can come through the smaller unmanned border but even the big ones that are manned are they properly policed? The security agencies would all prefer to get bribe from people than doing the right thing; that is why we still see banned goods imported into the country.
Nigeria border is not 100% policed. These can be ascribed to the reason why smugglers most time have their way in carrying out their nefarious acts almost unrestrained. For Nigeria to have a properly policed border, the Federal Government must provide the relevant security agencies with needed equipment such as strong and fast patrol vehicles especially in the northern part where the borders are remote, long and empty.
Also, technology, infrastructure and personnel must be employed to effectively survey the border posts. Government should as a matter of urgency create border security agencies who must work together with border security agencies of neigbouring countries to maximize security of the border posts.
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