The federal government says it has identified about 1479 irregular routes along the country’s borders that are being used by illegal immigrants to come into the country.
Minister of Interior, Abba Moro made the disclosure today to state house correspondents at the Aso Rock villa shortly before the commencement of the weekly Federal executive Council meeting.
Mr. Moro also said his ministry, in collaboration with the National Boundary Commission, had identified about 84 legal routes within the country’s borders and has concluded plans to erect border plazas there.
“We have recently in conjunction with the National Boundary Commission identified 84 routes through which travellers to Nigeria use. We are thinking as a starting point to build plazas in these 84 points,” Mr. Moro said.
The minister of interior says the plazas will help the government to properly secure the legal routes, after which attention will be shifted to the identified illegal routes.
Mr. Moro also said, the government will introduce electronic surveillance devices to the border routes so as to reduce border infiltration by criminal elements who come into the country to commit all sort of crimes.
“In addition to that, we are trying to introduce the electronic components to the surveillance of our borders with a central post in Abuja or any part of the country that we deem fit or appropriate to install. I hope that with the combination of the electronic system of surveillance with the human component of surveillance, we should be able to drastically reduce if not completely eliminate border infiltration,” Mr. Moro said
On funding for the projects, the minister said proper costing have not been made yet as the project is still in the conception stage adding however that memo to that effect will be presented to FEC as soon as all arrangements are concluded, adding that the nature of some of the borders also makes it difficult to come up with costs because of their location.
“At the moment we are at the drawing board so without prejudice to when this issue will come to the Federal Executive Council, costing them is difficult. Some of our plazas may be outside our jurisdiction, Seme border for instance is located in the Republic of Benin and so enforcement becomes a problem. For instance if there is a bridge of our law in Seme border, we will be unable to enforce Nigerian laws because that part of land is in the Republic of Benin. So we are thinking of placing our plazas in our territories first so that we can tackle any bridge,” Moro added.
The Minister who also spoke on the issue of data bank for migrants coming into the country and said government was resolved to implementing the biometric data regime for all persons that enters or leave country.
“Presently we are partnering with Galaxy Backbone to serve as the major platform for capturing this data and of course the national identity commission too in an aggressive move to ensure we have adequate data record of all persons that enters and leaves, and all persons including Nigerians resident in Nigeria. We will get there soon,” Mr. Moro said