The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Thursday approved N52 billion for the implementation of an e-Border solution to address the nation’s porous borders across the country.
The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, disclosed this when he addressed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting.
The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, presided over the council meeting on Thursday at the Presidentisal Villa, Abuja.
According to the minister, the country is concentrating on the use of e-border solution because it is becoming increasingly impossible to man the borders physically, without the use of technology, due to the land mass involved.
He, however, said the Nigeria Immigration Service would continue to collaborate with other security agencies to make the borders more secured.
He said: “I presented a memo for e-Border solution. If you recall, when we first came in I made an observation on the fact that our borders are very porous and diverse.
“It is impossible to man these borders physically, therefore, there is the need to use modern technology to monitor our borders.
“We also thought of the capacity to respond to emergencies at the borders but as we all know, the Nigeria Immigration Service is the vanguard of our border security and management but of course it does that in conjunction with other security agencies like the customs and even the military.
“So, it is on this note that I presented a memo today for this e-Border solution. ”
Dambazau disclosed that the e-border process, which started in 2012, “is supposed to be completed within the next two years.’’
According to the minister, a pilot project of the (e-border) process, which has been installed to monitor two borders is already in place to enhance the implementation of the scheme.
He said:“This process started sometimes in 2012 but we picked it up when we came into office.
“The process is supposed to be completed within the next two years and it will cost about N52 billion.
“There is a pilot project already which is installed to monitor two borders and it has been very successful.’’
He said the project would cover 86 border posts in the country when fully implemented, as well as check criminal activities at the over 1400 illegal routes already identified.
The minister, therefore, expressed the hope that government would now be able to monitor all illegal routes that were being used for smuggling and all kinds of cross-border criminal activities.
“The immigration will work very closely with other security agencies, particularly when it comes to rapid response; with the air force for instance; with the army units that are deployed near the borders; with the customs in terms of smuggling and the information will be available 24/7 and in real time.
“This is basically what this project is all about,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that week’s FEC meeting was shifted from Wednesday to Thursday, due to the Easter holiday declared by the Federal Government last week.(NAN)