‘Joint Border Policing Not Peculiar To Nigeria’- Nnadi
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Dear Nnadi mni, has said that joint border policing is a prevailing universal practice and a response to growing global border security awareness, which he said should not be construed as a Nigerian thing.
The customs area chief, who was speaking when the Coordinator of the Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT), S. F Shuaibu paid him a working visit last week, said even advanced economies including state departments of the United States of America also collaborate on the need for efficient border monitoring towards the safety of Americans.
He said Nigerian should be proud of the team leader and his officers for stepping in the gap for the nation’s critical border policing; even as he urged all federal agencies that make up the team to be up and doing; and to continue to collaborate towards achieving the objective for which it was established.
While thanking the JBPT leader and his entourage for visiting to strengthen collaboration and synergy between the command and the team, Nnadi enjoined Shuaibu not to relent in building productive alliances and advised him to familiarize himself with the content of the National Security Strategy, a document he noted will further broaden his knowledge of collaboration.
His words, “Your coming here today is further consolidation of that motor that we need to connect with the rest of our stakeholders who are members of this port community. And I’m glad that you still retained part of our partner agencies, the Nigerian Immigration Service, who have remained with us even when other components of the Joint Border Patrol team have been recalled to their various offices.
“I recall that in 2019, when the Joint Border Patrol was set up, it was a response to a growing need then to protect our borders based on identified security threats that was not just limited to smuggling, but also included issues of insurgency, issues of environmental health, issues of food security.
“For those of us that may wish, I would suggest that we get a copy of the National Security Strategy, particularly the 2014 edition, so that you can have a better grasp of when there is need for agencies to collaborate to attack and face the multifaceted issues of security in our borders.
“What we are doing with the joint border patrol is not unique with Nigeria, it is a global process that is channeled to what is called the Homeland Security in the US. However, even with the Homeland Security, the US Customs for instance is in charge of concise about the border. And so, as a lead agency, l am not surprised that the leadership of the joint border patrol have been returned to the DCG Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection.”
He expressed confidence that the leadership of the JBPT now domiciled in the NCS and under the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has the capacity to deliver on the overall objective; even as he further expressed confidence in Shuaibu’s capacity to deliver efficient policing in the south west sector of the border patrol.
“I congratulate you for taking up that mandate and l know that working along with our sister agencies, you will deliver appropriately and as expected. In doing this, let me remind all of us that though this place is a border, Executive Order 01 instituted by the Office of the former Vice President retained by the present Vice President remains in force, and what that order says is that ‘all our borders, all our trade corridors must be removed from every encumbrances against trade. For us at the port corridor it is even more imperative that such barriers don’t even exist at all not to talk of removing them. Why this is important is because you are operating in an environment that is international in nature.
“Import/export is an international business and when you are conducting such business in Nigeria, the impact of your action or inactions reverberates in other climes. So when a vessel comes to Nigeria that vessel has a discharge period, while it is discharging, it is been awaited at other ports where she will also load or discharge cargo. So every delay associated with that vessel in our own port will result delays in other ports. Therefore, l wish to crave the indulgence of your team to continue to support us in our efforts to achieve ease of doing business in our ports.”
Earlier, Shuaibu a deputy comptroller of customs said the JBPT is a child of necessity, further noting that his desire to seek cooperation, partnership and support is to ensure that the JBPT under his watch carries along which according to him will make his assignment much easier.
“The purpose of the mix is to act timely and professionally, that is why the immigration officer among us can look at and detect illegal immigrants. We will now look at them…those that are supposed to be returned back to their country are returned, victims of child trafficking are moved, we unite them with their families, and so.
“So, majorly, our duty here is to solicit for your support and collaboration so that we can work in synergy and be on the same page; so that what we are doing is not different from your overall objective.”