From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Social Integrity Network, (SINET), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently establish Border Control Enforcement Agency.
The Coordinator of the Group, Mallam Ibrahim Issa disclosed this in a statement made available to the media in Kaduna yesterday.
According to him, the Agency should be given 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.
Issa futher said 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.
“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 nocognizance 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 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.
“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.”
The group also advised the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment,Hon. Olamilekan Adegbite, to be committed to the implementation of thenation’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.”