Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mallam Muhammed Babandede has attributed the growing insecurity in the country to lack of cooperation among land borders’ security agencies.
The CG said a system whereby respective service agencies at the land border points chose to work independently without cooperating, consulting or sharing sensitive information with one another has led to unnecessary breach in securing the country.
Babandede, however, expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation of the agencies at the airports and seaports, respectively, acknowledging that operations at those levels have been cordial and responsible.
He regretted the sharp contrast in the operational activities of agencies at the land border points, stressing that the failure to acknowledge, share intelligence and work intelligently with one another has had negative implications on the security of the nation.
“There is no good administration at the land borders as there is at the airports and the seaports. If you go to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, for instance, you have an administrative system where you have FAAN consulting and cooperating with the Immigration and Custom Services, among others. In fact, the various service agencies are working together to ensure there is no illegal entry.
“But at the land borders, every service agency operates on its own. The various service agencies work independently. So cooperation is very different. As a service, it can’t and won’t work,” he said, adding that the call by President Muhammadu Buhari for ‘operation sweep’ can’t be faulted.
“You can’t object to the call. It is an opportunity for all to work together – Immigration, Customs, Police, the military and all other services at the land border points for effective operation”.
The CG, who was reacting to call for increased use of technology to checkmate illegal entry into the country through land borders, said it is herculean for the present number of officials of the service to man not only the approved land border entry and exit points but replicate same efficiency at the identified 2000 illegal routes in the country.
“Investing in men is always more appropriate and effective than investing in machinery. We need to invest more in areas where people are passing illegally. It’s the poor operational base that is mostly the bane of the porous border and illegal entry into the country.
“We can also deploy technology as another method, our officers can transmit as they are patrolling. We can easily monitor our borders, supervise our men so that they don’t compromise. For us, we, together with the Customs, need to have a system, need to cooperate to ensure effective coordination of our services,” Babandede who was monitored on Channels Television programme said.
Further, beyond internal cooperation between service agencies, he called for regional relationships among countries within the West African sub-region to tame the tide of insurgencies and other variants of insecurity within the region.