The Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor has said over 137 out of about 261 borders in the northeast and northwest regions of Nigeria are unguarded.
According to him, intelligence suggested that terrorists and bandits are using some of these border points to move freely from other countries into Nigeria to cause mayhem.
Irabor disclosed this on Thursday while delivering a lecture titled “Security, defense & development in Nigeria” at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos.
“Our borders are largely unmanned. The penetrability of our vast unmanned land areas – the north-east and north-west zones, particularly Borno, Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Katsina states – with neighboring countries such as the Niger Republic and Chad among others has continued to be a key source of criminality and violent crimes in those parts of the country,” he said.
“The porous nature of the borders has made it easily accessible for terrorists and bandits to enter the country to commit mayhem. For instance, there are about 364 approved international border points in Nigeria with about 261 in the northeast and northwest regions.
“Out of this 261, only 124 are manned leaving the remaining 137 unmanned by security agencies. Intelligence suggests that violent actors are using some of these normal border points to move freely from countries into Nigeria to cause mayhem.”
He called for the use of technology as a tool in strengthening the Nigerian borders, in addition to the erection of physical structures and effective management.
He said there is a need to have a broad-based integrated border management system in the country.