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Nigeria, neighbours meet over border management

13 May 2014, 20:04

Lagos - The government is hosting the International Dialogue on Irregular Migration and Border Management in Abuja.

The event, held in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration, aims to provide a platform for building formal policy and operational structures of cooperation and coordination between the Nigerian Immigration Service and its counterparts in neighbouring countries.

The meeting includes senior immigration officials from Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon and Chad.

The initiative, part of the European Union (EU)-funded project, “Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria,” targets broad areas of collaboration, including data collection, intelligence gathering and sharing, combating organized crime, irregular migration, management of regular migration, human trafficking and smuggling of migrants as well as security in border regions.

The meeting comes on the back of Nigeria recognizing that the country was an important destination and sending country for migrants.

It is also a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking, especially of women and children.

Nigeria’s national borders are seen as complex to manage.

It shares an estimated 4 047 km border with Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

These borders cut across communities, ethnic groups, and even families, with centuries of close economic, social and cultural ties, which do not respect borders.

The activities of terrorist groups like Boko Haram in the north east and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in the Sahel region have increased international attention on the effects of irregular movements in Nigeria’s north eastern border region. Document fraud through organized crime has also been widely reported.

According to organizers, the Abuja meeting will help the Nigerian Immigration Service to begin to build structures for widening its cooperation and collaboration with neighbouring immigration institutions.

– CAJ News

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