The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced plans to embark on joint border patrol with its counterparts in neighbouring countries to promote security and trade across their common borders.
An emergency meeting aimed at the establishment of a joint border patrol involving Nigeria, Cameroun, Niger, Chad and the Republic of Benin was held in Abuja on Wednesday.
The meeting which had in attendance the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, and the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) David Paradang, was organised by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) as part of efforts to winning the war against terrorism in Nigeria.
Representing the four other countries at the two-day strategic meeting is a three-man delegation led by the respective directors-general of the Customs administration.
Nigeria’s Customs Comptroller-General, Abdullahi Dikko, said top on the agenda is to seek the mandate of the respective governments to establish joint patrol teams along the common borders to promote security.
Also on the table is the resolve to share timely intelligence in all matters of cross-border crimes and to resolve to implement the Protocol on Transit Trade between the common borders as well as to deepen and facilitate trade between the countries.
He said: “We are thinking beyond the smuggling of arms and ammunition; the issue is being compounded by insurgents attacking Nigerian citizens and running away to these neighbouring countries.
“Today it is Nigeria, tomorrow it may be another country, and if we are harbouring criminals in our various countries attacking our neighbours and running away to get a safe haven in another country, I think we are not being fair with ourselves.
“I think Cameroon had the pinch when President Jonathan closed the border, so I think they are here to make sure they contribute their quota so that peace can reign in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. There are no movements across the border and that is affecting their economy,” he said.
Director-General of Cameroun Customs, Minette Libon Li Likeng, said the meeting was aimed at collaboration between the neighbouring countries having the same border in order to overcome the challenge of terrorism and insecurity which is boosted through the movement of goods.
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