IN a bid to nip the menace of crime in the bud, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has disclosed plans by the Japanese government to support the Federal Government of Nigeria with $500,000 to fight transborder crimes.
Country representative of UNODC in Nigeria, Mrs Cristina Albertin Albertin, disclosed this while inspecting facilities at the Mfum border posts in Etung local government area of Cross Rivers State.
Mfum borders Cameroon.
She explained that the project which is funded by the government of Japan and implemented by UNODC was to help reduce the scourge of border crimes and movement of illicit drugs within and outside Nigeria.
According to her, UNODC was driving the process with a view to strengthen the law enforcement agencies that has a role to play in border control.
She said that UNODC had in the last two years been training law enforcement officials in different workshops on border patrol, interviewing suspects of crime, arrest under the rule of law and respect for human rights.
“This project is to strengthen the capacity of the law enforcement agencies that has a role to play in border control.
“Crime is so much evolving and the law enforcement officers need so much of upgrading, especially in the area of Information and Communication Technology.
“This projects involves the Nigeria Immigration Service, the police, Customs, Department of State Service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’’, she said.
Speaking, Mrs Funke Adeuyi, the State Comptroller of Immigration, said that the project was initiated to strengthen the security capacity of law enforcement officials at border posts across the country.
Adeuyi said that the Nigeria Immigration Service which is the lead agency in the management of borders needed more funding to effectively carry out the policing of the borders.
“We need hi-tech equipment to effectively monitor activities at the border. I am happy that the UNODC and all relevant agencies are here today to see things for themselves.
“We hope that the office of the National Security Adviser, the Budget Office and the Ministry of Defence will assist us with adequate funding to drive this process forward.
“We believe that if adequate funding is given to the relevant agencies, we will be able to effectively police the borders with a view to stopping the movement of illicit drugs, child trafficking and illegal migration’’, she said.
Dr Sanjo Faniran, Assistant Director, International Cooperation, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, said that the project was a support to border security.
“This project is meant to build the capacity of security agencies in border control posts with a view to enable them discharge their duties creditably’’, h e said.