According to Lucky Irabor, the country’s chief of defence, 137 of the roughly 261 borders in the north-east and north-west are unsecured.
On Thursday, August 25, Irabor spoke at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos about “security, defence, and development in Nigeria.” He pointed out that the porous nature of the borders makes it easy for terrorists and robbers to enter the country and cause mayhem.
It was his words that prompted the question:
“Our borders are largely unmanned. The penetrability of our vast unmanned land areas – the north-east and north-west zones, particularly Borno, Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina states – with neigbouring countries such as Niger Republic and Chad among others has continued to be a key source of criminality and violent crimes in those parts of the country. “The porous nature of the borders has made it easily accessible for terrorists and bandits to enter the country to commit mayhem. For instance, there are about 364 approved international border points in Nigeria with about 261 in the north-east and north-west regions. Out of this 261 only 124 are manned leaving the remaining 137 unmanned by security agencies. Intelligence suggests that violence actors are using some of these normal border points to move freely from countries into Nigeria to cause mayhem.”
In addition to promoting the use of technology, physical infrastructure, and efficient management to fortify Nigeria’s borders, Irabor emphasised the importance of establishing a comprehensive integrated border management system.
“So I am looking ahead, when we bring technology to bear in the management of our borders, in addition of course, to physical, structures that need to be established across the length of our borders, then we cam contribute to the overall security of our land. “We move to correct this but the point remains that a good number of borders remain unmanned.”