Ben Agande, Kaduna.
A Non-governmental organisation, Social Integrity Network, (SINET), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently establish a Border Control Enforcement Agency with full Executive Order to check the illegal flow of arms into the country.
In a statement made available to journalists in Kaduna, the group said from recent developments in the country, it is obvious that the Nigeria Customs Service can no longer effectively control the nation’s porous be orders.
The statement, which was signed by the National Coordinator of the group, Mallam Ibrahim ISSA noted that no effort must be spared in trying to ensure the peace and security of the country.
While commending government’s recent decision to close some of the nation’s borders, Issa noted that the creation of a border control agency will ensure maximum prevention of human trafficking, smuggling of dangerous weapons, importation of substandard products as well as restriction of illegal migrants into the country.
“It is obvious that leaving border monitoring in the purview the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) alone cannot serve the overall interest of Nigerians because events have shown that Customs is only after revenue generation with no cognizance attention to securing the nation.
“The jobs of revenue generation, border security mechanism, human-trafficking control, anti-smuggling policy enforcement and regulation of migrants are beyond Customs operational technique alone, therefore, there is an urgent need for the emergence of an effective agency before the reopening of borders.
“Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa with over 200million population density and with the recent African Continental Free Trade.
The agreement, Customs alone cannot secure our borders effectively and this will subject Nigeria to high economic risk and sabotage.
There is a need for more holistic intervention to arrest this felonious situation. We commend the president for taking bold steps towards salvaging the economic interest of local manufacturers as well as
curbing insecurity which has ravaged some states in the North-East. This was part of our public outcries during a peaceful protest held recently in Kaduna; we thank Mr President for heeding to our plights.
“The move by the federal government towards ensuring adequate protection of lives and property of the Nigeria citizenry as well as promoting local contents by stemming down smuggling on the nation’s border is a laudable effort towards the actualization of the much-anticipated reversal of the Pre-shipment Inspection Cancellation.
“We plead with President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently approve the establishment of Border Control System in order to ensure effective monitoring of the influx of illegal activities into the country,” he said.