Group urges FG to invest in modern technology for improved border controls
Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has urged the Federal Government to invest in modern technologies for effective border security.
The group also called on the government to put in place, comprehensive and appropriate insurance and welfare schemes for all security personnel, as well as take seriously, stakeholders’ engagement in all border communities for prompt intelligence gathering.
The National President of APFFLON, Frank Ogunojemite, stated this while condemning the attack by smugglers on Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) Sector 3 of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) operatives along Sinau-Kenu road in Baruten Council of Kwara State on October 21, 2022, which claimed one life and left others with bodily injuries.
Ogunojemite said the Federal Government should adequately equip the Joint Border Patrol Team with all that is needed to carry out this onerous task such as superior firepower, sound patrol vehicles, routine training and retraining, quality security gadgets and collaboration with border communities.
He said though smuggling as a crime cannot be outrightly eradicated, however, with a well-equipped Joint Border Patrol Team, the activities of smugglers can be effectively checked.
“APFFLON is shocked by the persistent attacks on Customs operatives. It is indeed regrettable that the organisation keeps losing its personnel to hoodlums, who keep unleashing terror on its operatives manning our borders. SO many lives have been lost over time and many more are still falling victim. It is an ugly trend that requires a high level of intelligence to confront.
“ It is a fact that smuggling is on the increase due to very harsh import policies being churned out by the Federal Government, these policies have negatively affected international trade compelling people to seek alternatives by circumventing trade rules. The masses are passing through serious hardships that if something urgent is not done to cushion it, could result in unprecedented criminal activities across the country,” he stated.
Ogunojemite appealed to the Federal Government to review all duties to discourage smuggling.
He said the creation of employment for the youth and job seekers should be one of the topmost priorities of the government.
He said assisting entrepreneurs, especially, small business owners with soft loans and empowering them with business skills via sponsored entrepreneurship programmes is very important.
According to him, government policies should as well consider the well-being of the citizenry, while nationwide sensitisation on the implications of engaging not only in smuggling activities but in all illegal businesses must be a daily routine by National Orientation Agency and other government-owned media platforms.
Meanwhile, the Coordinator of, Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT), Olugboyega Peters, has ordered a full-scale investigation to smoke out perpetrators of the dastardly act.
According to him this trend of unprovoked attacks by faceless cowards whose intention is to instil fear in the minds of law enforcement officers shall not go unpunished, nor will it dampen the resolve of officers and men from carrying out their statutory functions.
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