President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, to monitor and control the nation’s borders.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stating the president gave the directive in his speech at the NIS Technology Building’s virtual inauguration.
The president’s directive follows a call by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Ahmadu Ali (retd). The latter told the House of Representatives that the agency was yet to contain the smuggling of arms into the country because border communities protect the smugglers.
Adesina noted that the president had instructed all security agencies to step up their performance in protecting its citizens’ lives and property, with a mandate that the country’s Global Security Index must be improved.
He also directed the service to ensure that criminals do not make Nigeria a home, safe to perpetuate their criminality.
The president further promised the service that his administration would give them the needed support for their operations. He also charged the NIS to collaborate with international security organisations, such as INTERPOL, in safeguarding the borders.
He said: “As a security agency, I charge you to be relentless in carrying out your statutory duties of keeping our borders safe while you ensure that criminal elements don’t find Nigeria as a haven to hide and perpetuate their criminality.
“I urge you to actively collaborate with international security organisations like the INTERPOL in safeguarding our borders. Remember that a safe edge is a prerequisite for a secure nation.
Meanwhile, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Ahmadu Ali (retd), has informed the House of Representatives that those living in border communities were making it difficult for the Customs to contain the smuggling of arms into the country.
Ali stated this at the 2020/2021 budget defence and consideration session organised by the House Committee on Customs in Abuja yesterday.
According to him, “Our biggest problem with stopping arms smuggling is that border communities gang up against us, kill us and burn our vehicles.
”They gang up to fight us because they think the bandits (who smuggle arms) are more critical to their lives than us. We need other agencies and communities to help us. Until that is done, Customs is willing to do what it can to stop that.
“There is no nation that has been able to stop arms smuggling. I understand there are complaints about how can Customs not stop this? We can only make efforts through the third tier to curtail smuggling. Other agencies and people in the border communities must help us.”