The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has disclosed that there are more than 1,400 illegal border routes in the country.
Comptroller-General of the service, Mr. David Parradang, made the disclosure while addressing the National Conference Committee on Immigration.
He said that though the country has only 84 approved land border control posts, there are more than 1,400 illegal borders in the country.
“Across the over 4,000 square kilometres coverage, we have illegal routes which are not manned,” Parradang said.
“The number of illegal routes is 100 times more than the number of approved routes. In Adamawa State for instance, we have about five control posts but we have 80 illegal routes in the state, through which people come into the country.’’
He added that there are also 83 illegal routes in Ogun State, stressing that the development has grave security implications for the country.
Parradang equally lamented that the service is short of manpower, saying the current 22,300 immigration officers are grossly inadequate to carry out the service’s mandate. He said the service needs an annual recruitment of 5,000 personnel for a period of five years to effectively carry out its duties. He noted that apart from the shortage of manpower, the service is also contending with other numerous challenges.
“We have inadequate facilities, such as patrol vehicles; and we have only two aircraft. We need communication gadgets and scanners because our border posts are not interconnected with the E-pass system,’’ he said.
“We have non-demarcated, poorly-marked borders. This makes people at the border community so intertwine to the extent that stringent control is apparently difficult.
“We have some people who have their bedrooms in another country and their sitting rooms in Nigeria; the windows open to another country, so, how do you tell that person that he should not cross the border?”
Disclosing that the service would open 30 new control posts to effectively monitor the borders, Parradang canvassed better welfare and insurance for officers. he also called for better budgetary allocation, supply of modern border patrol aircraft, and the review of the service’s policy to meet modern-day challenges.