President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to urgently establish Border Control Enforcement Agency with full Executive Order that will enable it function optimally in a bid to tackling the prevailing insurgency and also boost the nation’s economic activities.
This was contained in a statement signed on Sunday by the National Coordinator of the Social Integrity Network, (SINET), Mallam Ibrahim Issa, adding that the peace and unity of Nigeria remain sacrosanct and must not be negotiated for any other interests.
The group also commended the president over the border closure policy stressing that the decision has further demonstrated his desire to secure the nation from insurgents.
SINET noted that the border control agency, if created, will ensure maximum prevention of human-trafficking, smuggling of dangerous weapons, importation of substandard products as well as restriction of illegal migrants into the country.
According to the statement, “It is obvious that leaving border monitoring in the purview the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) alone cannot serve the overall interest of Nigerians because, events have shown that Customs are only after revenue generation with no cognizance attention to securing the nation.
“The jobs of revenue generation, border security mechanism, human-trafficking control, anti-smuggling policy enforcement and regulation of migrants are beyond Customs operational technique alone, therefore, there is urgent need for the emergence of an effective agency before the reopening of borders.
“Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa with over 200million population density and with the recent African Continental Free Trade Agreement, Customs alone cannot secure our borders effectively and this will subject Nigeria to high economic risk and sabotage.
“There is need for more holistic intervention to arrest this felonious situation. We commend the president for taking bold steps towards salvaging the economic interest of local manufacturers as well as curbing insecurity which has ravaged some states in the North-East.
“This was part of our public outcries during a peaceful protest held recently in Kaduna; we thank Mr. President for heeding to our plights.
“The group further stressed that, “The move by the federal government towards ensuring adequate protection of lives and property of the Nigeria citizenry as well as promoting local contents by stemming down smuggling on the nation’s border is a laudable effort towards the actualization of the much anticipated reversal of the Pre-shipment Inspection Cancellation.
“We plead with President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently approve the establishment of Border Control System in order to ensure effective monitoring of the influx of illegal activities into the country.
“It is saddened to note that smuggling is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into our wellbeing as a people and crippled the economic fortunes of our dear country. While Nigeria depends on high lending rates to execute projects, our revenue expectations are at a stand-still due to wrong declarations of goods at the ports with strong conspiracy between importers and officers of Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) and officials of Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON).”
He added that, “If not quickly checkmate, local manufacturers will continue to retrench their workforce due to inability to meet up with salaries as well as bank loan obligations.
“Already, we have more than enough problems to deal with in Nigeria, such as, ethnic crisis, farmers/herders crisis, religious crisis, industrial strikes by higher institutions and political protests among others. We therefore urge President Buhari not to allow the issue of smuggling to go without imposing appropriate sanctions on culprits.”
SINET’s helmsman further stressed that the group will continue to support the federal government in its campaign against corruption and other social vices aimed at re-positioning the nation in the global market.
The group also advised the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Hon. Olamilekan Adegbite, to be committed to the implementation of the nation’s Industrial Revolution Roadmap, (IRR) as well as the Backward Integration Policy, (BIP) of the present administration.
He also appealed to the leadership of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN) to create more awareness among members in order to ensure effective implementation of the new order adding that, “Government has taken the right step and we are still expecting more
actions in that regards in the economic interest of the nation.”
SINET however urged MAN to use its 47th Annual General Meeting (AGM) to adopt policy frameworks that will serve national interest and also address the high expectations of members in a bid to secure the jobs of many Nigerians.