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Osinbajo seeks Inter-Agency synergy to tackle border security

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, called for strong synergy amongst government agencies and other stakeholders for a more effective border management in Nigeria.

Osinbajo stated this during the virtual presentation of the research report of the National Defence College Course 28 titled “Border Management & National Development in Nigeria: The ECOWAS Protocol Relating to Free Movement of Persons, Residence & Establishment in Perspective”.

Nigeria border with over 1000 entry points had over the years fàced management challenges, making it one of the most poorly secured.

Nigeria is regarded as 32nd largest country in the world with an area of 923,768 km and about 4,047km of border line and a costline of 850km.

Nigeria,s has a total distance of 773 km border with Benin, 1497 km with Niger, 87km with Chad and 1690 km Cameroon, 1690 km

Osinbajo noted that a renewed effort will be channeled towards improving synergy amongst agencies involved in border management.

The Vice President noted that border management affects the economy very considerably hence the need to get all agencies involved in the sector together.

According to him, “It is absolutely the correct thing to do, to try and see how we can unify agencies concerned with border management so that there is synergy. We must come back to the question of synergy. Why it is that we have the kinds of problems that we have at the borders and ports, and why the delays?”

He however commended the participants for a thoroughly researched paper, which he said touched on important national issues even as he promised that efforts would be made to adopt and implement key recommendations.

“I commend you for a very comprehensive, thought-provoking and well-researched paper. The point that has been made also is that we can see the importance of synergy even here. Here is a situation where relevant services have come together including international participants with experience in the relevant areas, and have made what I think is really a seminal contribution to our ideas about border management.

“I like the fact that you have addressed very practical issues and also very contemporary questions that we have to deal with not just as matters of security and human trafficking but perhaps on a broader scale for the generality of our people and the Nigerian economy at a very difficult time.

“There is no question at all that whatever we do with respect to border management will affect our economy very considerably.

“I think that the questions that you have addressed really goes to the root of our economic survival. Some of the things that you have said are spot on. And what we really need to do is to see how to implement some of these suggestions.”

The report presented by leader of the team, Babatunde Omopariola, and other members, including, Raymond Utsaha; O A Oshatuberu; Ehimen Ejodame; and Jitendra Singh, had identified the lack of coordination as a major weakness in Nigeria’s border management sector.

They therefore recommended the adoption of a comprehensive border surveillance programme and the creation of National Border Management Service, amongst others.

Participants present at the event include the Commandant of the National Defence College, Rear Admiral Mackson Kadiri, and other principal officers of the College; the Director-General of the Border Communities Development Agency, Capt. Junaid Abdullahi; the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Amb. Adeyemi Dipeolu; and the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole.

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