The challenges of Nigeria’s international borderlines and its implications for national security are numerous and very damaging not just to the economy but to the citizens of the country at lager.
Nigeria has four major borders leading to four African countries and the Atlantic Ocean.
Niger Republic shares border with Nigeria in the North which is Located in Birnin Kuka, Katsina State, with border length is 1,497 km.
Chad shares a border with Nigeria in the Northeast, located in Borno State. Chad border length is 87 km.
Benin Republic shares a border with Nigeria in the West, located in Lagos State (Seme border), the Benin border length is 773 km.
Cameroon shares border with Nigeria in the East and it is located in Cross River State, Nigeria – Cameroon border length is 1690 km.
The Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean borders Nigeria in the south and it is located in Niger Delta and Lagos State.
The porous border situation presents a security problem demanding a coordinated national and multilateral approach to address the issue effectively.
From smuggling to narcotics trafficking, illegal immigration, movement of arms and ammunition, human trafficking, and insurgent movements offer some of the major challenges to domestic and regional security.
This is because the layers of frontier and cross-border activities of Nigeria and her neighbours since independence in 1960 has been bedevilled by controversies and disturbing security challenges that sparked diplomatic rows and near-war experiences.
Its greatest challenge today is international terrorism that is aided by religious extremism, the porosity of borderline and cross-border security challenges and crime.
Indeed, the existence of porous borders and cross-border and frontier activities in Nigeria has aided crimes and security challenges across Nigerian borders for long without any specific solutions.
THE AGENCY SOLUTION
It’s precise aim is to advise the Federal Government on border areas development and other related issues, consult with the relevant border communities and liaise with the Federal Government on areas required for the overall development in order to maintain, sustain and develop border communities.
They are to coordinate the activities of all relevant Ministries in the implementation of Federal Government policies and programs for the development of border communities; and help plan, design and develop strategies towards ensuring efficient and effective implementation of Federal projects within the border States and ensure their implementation; execute such border development policies, projects and programs in the border communities; then execute such border development policies, projects and programs in the border communities.
NIGAC Constructive Take/Position
There should be a very strong political will and commitment of resources to effectively manage the borders.
There should be accurate and on-time intelligence sharing between agencies and countries, which will yield to full cooperation within departments, between departments and between countries.
Adequate personnel available for deployment on the borders and the best motivation among border personnel.
Constant training for adequate skills of the personnel deployed to manage borders is advised.
Provision should be made for facilities and equipment to secure and manage borders.