Federal Government E-Border Project
The capability to maintain boundaries, secure territories, and protect citizens through a protected national border is one of the criteria used to classify states as strong or weak.
In the same vein, the strategic location of a country determines opportunities for illegal activities that exist or can take place in its border areas.
Some countries are more threatened by insecurities or mismanagement of other countries borders than their own.
For instance records show that there are over one thousand four hundred illegal routes into Nigeria.
The porosity of the nation’s borders is the main factor encouraging the proliferation of illegal arms and high rate of insurgencies in the country.
In a bid to reduce these illegal routes, the Federal Government recently announced that fifty two billion naira had been approved to finance a project that would assist the country to digitally monitor its borders.
Minister of Interior, Retired Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Dambazzau noted that given the porous nature of the country’s borders, it was absolutely impossible to safeguard them.
According to him, only the installation of technological devices could guarantee effective monitoring of the borders.
The minister submitted that when executed, the project would be effective in the eighty six border posts and one thousand four hundred illegal routes through which smuggling and other cross-border criminal activities are usually perpetrated.
However, some stakeholders believe that the problem of Nigeria’s porous borders certainly goes beyond digital monitoring but apprehending criminals and ensuring that they do not return to the country through the same routes.
They further argued that, there could be no solution to the country’s border insecurity if border walls were not built and equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, stressing that without adequate power generation, the electronic monitoring of the country’s porous borders remains a pipe dream.
With these submissions, the proposed e-border project puts the cart before the wheels and will come to naught.
It is imperative that officials of the Nigerian Customs Service remain transparent, honest and sincere in policing the nation’s borders.
There are allegations in some quarters that unscrupulous members of the service collude with smugglers, bandits and other felons for personal benefits, hence the need to flush out bad eggs out from the system.
The proposed e-border project, if well implemented with effective policing, will ensure sanity is restored to the nation’s border.