BORDER MANAGEMENTAS A SECURITY CHALLENGE IN AFRICA: A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA

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A fact in the understanding of Africa’s border management agenda is that in the continent, most governments do not know where state borders are, their nature or characteristics, and what is moving across them. The aim of this research is to assess the border management system in Africa with specific reference to the security challenges in the continent with particular reference to Nigeria. The study applied the realist perspective in the research and noted that border security and the management of borders in ways that promotes national security  has  generally  been  given  low  priority  in  Africa.  The  study  will  be  useful  in addressing some of the national security challenges facing African countries through their borders. The decision to adopt the methodology is informed by the nature of the study. Primary data were to be obtained through unstructured interviews and  discussions from National Boundary Commission (NBC), the agency in charge of some aspects of border management in Nigeria, the Surveyor General of Nigeria and staff of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The study found that the ill-defined, porous and expansive borders of Nigeria encourage cross border criminalities such as illegal immigration and armed banditry as well as other forms of trans-national organized crimes. It found out that there was an upsurge in the incidence of illegal immigrant, traffickers (both human and materials), smugglers and proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria in the last decade. These incidences manifested insecurity in Nigeria with implications on the economy, employment, safety, security and well-being of Nigerian citizens and thereby undermine Nigeria’s security. In order to ensure effective border management and enhanced national security, the study articulated some strategies like the need to develop good leadership at all levels, the need for a unified Border Management  Command,  effectively  addressing  the  effects  of  Trans-national  Organized Crimes and Terrorism, and the need to address human and drug trafficking across these porous borders.

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PROF. AMB. MARIA NZOMO
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