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‘Plan to erect walls on borders unreasonable’

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Sunday, May 05, 2013 | 5/05/2013 09:04:00 am

Security experts  on Friday faulted the plan by the Federal Government to erect walls along
Nigeria’s borders, as a way of controlling the influx of illegal immigrants.

A former Director of the State Security Service, Mr. Mike Ejiofor, in an interview with  SUNDAY PUNCH  said the plan was unreasonable and unachievable.

He said, “When I heard of that issue being debated at the House of Representatives, I said it’s unthinkable to erect walls along Nigeria’s borders. Even if it is in the North alone, I still do not think it will serve any purpose. First of all, it’s capital-intensive trying to erect such walls.

“What I understand is that we have legal and illegal routes. For the legal routes, you can erect some walls, about a kilometre on both sides to control the influx of immigrants. But saying you want to wall the whole Nigeria, is unreasonable and unachievable.”

Ejiofor added that it was necessary for the Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies to be properly equipped to man the country’s borders, especially the notorious illegal routes that had been identified over the years.

“We can secure some points as travel control points, we then use the immigration and other security forces on the known, well-used illegal routes,” he said.

The ex-SSS boss also said the Federal Government should instead, adopt satellite monitoring.

Similarly, another security consultant based in Borno State, Mr. Hussaini Monguno, said erecting walls on the borders will have no effect.

He said, “It will only create bottle-necks for immigrants. What we need is patriotic and well-equipped security agencies; stationed across the borders and the buffer zones. I don’t know how they are going to fence it from Maiduguri all the way to Katsina. Borno State alone shares borders with three countries; Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic. Fencing cannot solve the problem.”

The House of Representatives recently asked the Federal Government to build a perimeter fence along Nigeria’s 3,140-square-kilometre borderlines with neighbouring countries to check the influx of illegal immigrants.

In a resolution it passed in Abuja, the House said the borderlines should be properly demarcated “with sensors and cameras to help check illegal entry and to enable the Nigeria Immigration Service to have proper statistics of those entering the country.”
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