Following an attack on a Joint Border Patrol Team which claimed one life and left others injured, and the incessant attacks on the border operatives, the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has urged the Federal Government to inject investments in modern technologies for effective and efficient securing of the border. The group also called on the government to put in place comprehensive and appropriate insurance and welfare schemes for all security personnel, and to take stakeholders’ engagement in all border communities for prompt intelligence gathering seriously.
This was disclosed by the APFFLON National President, Frank Ogunojemite, who denounced the smugglers’ attack on the Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) Sector 3 of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) that operates along Sinau-Kenu road in Baruten Council of Kwara State. Ogunojemite asserts that the Federal Government should adequately equip the Joint Border Patrol Team with all necessary equipment to implement the strenuous task, like superior firepower, sound patrol vehicles, routine training and retraining, quality security gadgets and collaboration with border communities.
The strict policies imposed contribute to the rising smuggling activities.
He stressed that with a well-equipped Joint Border Patrol Team, the activities of the smugglers could be effectively monitored, considering the fact that smuggling as a crime cannot be outrightly eradicated. The persistent attacks on Customs Officials have left the group in a bemoaned situation as it continues to lose its personnel to the vicious hoodlum attacks, which continue to terrorize the security agents safeguarding the borders. The APFFLON National president claims that the situation is an unsatisfying trend requiring a high level of intelligence.
It is worth noting that smuggling activities are rapidly increasing amidst the stringent policies that have been imposed on imports by the Federal Government. Ogunojemite points out that these policies have had a negative impact on international trade, compelling people to seek alternative means of importing by sidestepping rules guiding trading activities. He claims that the masses are experiencing severe hardships that could inculcate unprecedented criminal activity across the country if adequate measures are not taken.
APFFLON urges nationwide sensitization on smuggling implications.
Ogunojemite appealed to the Federal Government to review all duties to discourage smuggling, stating that the most priority for the government should be creating job employment for the youth and job seekers. He emphasized the importance of empowering entrepreneurs, particularly small business owners with soft loans and skills through sponsored entrepreneurship programs. According to him, government policies should be implemented in a way that will benefit the citizens well-being. Also, nationwide sensitization on the implications of engaging not only in smuggling activities, but in all illegal businesses, must be a daily routine of the National Orientation Agency and other government-owned media platforms.
In addition, Olugboyega Peters, Coordinator of the Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT), has mandated a thorough investigation to identify and apprehend those responsible for the heinous crime. He said the trend of random attacks by unknown assailants whose intent is to strike fear into the minds of law enforcement officers will not go unchecked, , and neither will it destabilize the resolve of officers and men to carry out their statutory duties to curb smuggling activities across the country.
Government collaborates with Huawei to deliver e-border project.
With threats of terrorism on the rise in our increasingly globalized world, border agencies must consistently address new challenges. While stressing that the deployment of technology is the ideal solution to the country’s border problem, the Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Isa Idris, said that the e-border project has been outsourced to Chinese technology vendor, Huawei. He said that preparations to implement electronic border control systems at 84 border points had moved to an advanced level.
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