Smuggling: FEC approves N52bn for border monitoring
.Says Customs, Immigration to work in synergy
By Joel ThankGod (Financial Business, Abuja)
In efforts to curb smuggling of offensive items and other prohibited goods posing a threat to national security, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved a whooping sum of N52billion for e-border monitoring project.
The project aims at providing e-border solution to the challenge of porous borders across Nigeria received approval yesterday, during the FEC meeting, presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, in Abuja.
Briefing news men, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau explained that the project would cover about 86 border posts and over 1,400 illegal routes used for smuggling of prohibited items and other crimes.
He said that officers of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, who have being in the forefront of curbing smuggling, officials of Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Air-Force and other security agencies would work in synergy to ensure immediate response at all times.
He informed, “There is a pilot project already in place. It was installed to monitor two borders and has been very successful. So, with additional border posts to cover, information in the system must be made available 24 hours.”
He added, “When we came, it was observed that our borders were so porous, making it impossible for security agencies to cover them physically. We realised the need to use modern technology in monitoring activities at our borders. Therefore, we also thought of response capacity to emergencies at the borders”.
He emphasized, “It was on that note I presented a memo for e-border solution. So, the process started in 2012. We picked it up and move forward when we came in. The project is to be completed in the next two years and it would cost about N52 billion to carry it out successfully”.