The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) has blamed Nigeria’s security challenges, including organized crimes, illicit financial flows, money laundering and proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) on Africa’s porous borders.
Monguno made this call on Saturday, November 13, when he presented a paper titled ‘Combating Persistent and Emerging Threats to Regional Peace and Security in Africa: Pivotal Role of Nigeria,’ at the Nigeria International Partnership Forum in Paris.
He maintained that, while the illicit financial flow is a serious concern due to the linkage to terrorism and other transnational crimes; the proliferation of SALW has been a major challenge facilitated by the porosity of borders.
According to Monguno, “Africa’s porous borders remain a major source of concern as this has aided smuggling of prohibited items and irregular migration as well as other transnational organized crimes. Nigeria is bordered to the North by Niger, to the East by Chad and Cameroon, to the South by the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean, and to the West by Benin.”
However, Nigeria’s extensive land and maritime borders are incredibly porous and poorly manned.
“This has placed added responsibility on the border security agencies. In this regard, the Nigeria Customs Service has developed the E- Customs strategy; while the Nigeria Immigrations Service has equally put in place an Integrated Border Management System (IBMS).
“Therefore, as part of efforts to address the proliferation of SALW; Nigeria recently established a National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW); domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser; to serve as the institutional framework as well as complement other efforts.
“In addition, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU); and the INTERPOL; as well as other international agencies have been quite effective in monitoring and trafficking illicit financial flows.”
He continued, “let me also state that this discourse could not have come at a better time; as the African continent grapples with a plethora of security challenges; which continue to morph into what can best be described as a complex and unpredictable threat environment.”