The Federal Government has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure strict implementation of the new Border Management Strategy which was unveiled in Lagos.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, gave the directive while declaring open the Comptroller-General Management Retreat, 2019 and inauguration of the Border Management Strategy document.
He said that the retreat was organized for the management cadre officers to brainstorm and fashion out means of implementing the reforms being carried out by the service in line with President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s focus on security, economy and transparency.
Aregbesola said further that the retreat would provide the major input in the development of several strategic documents for NIS to cover 2019 – 2023, adding that the officers and men of the service must act as moral agents and in the best interest of the country.
The minister said, “The primary role of the Nigeria Immigration Service is the security of the border and migration management. No unwanted, suspicious and criminal person must be allowed entry into our nation just as we are to prevent the exit from Nigeria of all known domestic real felons and or domestic potential felons from leaving Nigeria to tarnish our image abroad.”
The minister observed further that technology and transparency remained paramount for efficient and effective border security management.
Meanwhile the ongoing partial closure of borders across the country to curb the activities of rice smugglers, the joint border patrol team set up by the Federal Government has launched an offensive against night smuggling, which some smugglers have reportedly embraced since the closure started.
We gathered that the activities of the joint patrol team, comprising personnel of the Customs, Army, Police, Immigration and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, had busted night smuggling, which usually boom whenever borders are closed.
the development has made the smuggling business to take a hit, causing smugglers across the country to groan.
Specifically, findings showed that night smugglers had been rendered almost impotent, finding it difficult to move goods through smuggling routes around the borders in Seme (Lagos State); Idiroko (Ogun State); Saki, Sikanda, Kabo (Oyo State); Illela-Koni (Sokoto State); and Jibiya (Katsina State).
In Lagos and Ogun states, our correspondents gathered that smugglers usually make use of Ilara-Rounder Road; Igan-Okoto-Saga-Orile Road; Idi-Iroko-Oja-Odan Road, among others, to import contraband into the country.
The Federal Government had on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, ordered partial closure of the borders to prevent smuggling from neighboring Benin, Niger and Chad republics.
The exercise, code-named ‘Ex-Swift Response’, is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser, while the officers deployed are also paid feeding allowance for the assignment.
President Muhammadu Buhari had during a meeting with his Beninois counterpart, Patrice Talon, on the margins of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference for African Development, in Yokohama, Japan on Wednesday, said the partial closure of Nigeria’s borders with the Benin Republic was to curb smuggling of rice through that corridor as well as secure Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.
The patrol team had tightened security at the borders since the exercise began, findings revealed that smugglers who would have rescheduled their activities to the night had met a brick wall with what they termed the effective approach deployed by the patrol team in manning the borders.
Residents of border towns said smuggling activities had been brought to almost a standstill.