E-border Operations to Commence 2021, Says Immigration Boss

The Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has said the Federal Government’s planned electronic border monitoring will commence fully in 2021.

Babandede, who made the disclosure at the NIS management retreat in Lagos on Friday, said the e-border would enable officials to see real time online situation of the country’s borders.

He said the programme would be implemented in two years where the 4,047 kilometres of land borders, covering 86 border-control post, comprising six mega-control posts, 16 medium-control posts and 64 mini-control posts, would be monitored.

The Federal Executive Council in April approved N52bn for the electronic monitoring of Nigeria’s borders.

Babandede explained that the BCPs would be equipped with HD video surveillance for pedestrian, observable thermal and optical bi-spectrum for low visibility environment, unified IP telephony and video conferencing facilities as well as advanced eLTE multi-media walkie-talkie communication.

“In order to tackle the problem of power generation, especially at remote locations, there will be solar grid and 0.6 hybrid-power solution for all control posts,” the CGI added.

The immediate past Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, had stated that the project was already tested in two border posts and would be fully implemented in all Nigeria’s 86 border posts and 1,400 illegal routes being used for smuggling and other crimes.

Babandede said, “The Federal Government has just granted us the approval to commence the e-border project. I fear that government will soon be disappointed with us on this project if we do not immediately emplace massive reforms in our current crude border management practices. We currently do not have any modern and functional border security and management practices and documents.

“Our operations differ from one control post to the other, while extortion of travellers has become commonplace especially across land border formations. Some migrants now prefer to cross our control posts without travel documents so long as they hold their “settlement fee” for our border operatives.”

According to the CGI, in view of the fact that Immigration is not the only agency at border, the NIS will present a globally approved border crossing procedure.

Speaking on the Seme border, he said the partial closure was important, as it would allow people to pass through the recognised point of entry.

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