Security personnel deployed to man key Nigerian land borders have not been paid their mandatory allowance for 10 months, multiple sources involved in the operation told Daily Trust.
An inter-agency operation tagged Joint Border Drill Operation was jointly piloted by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to ensure total compliance with the ban on movements along the border routes.
Hundreds of personnel were drawn from the NCS, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), police, Department of State Service (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and the military, to form the border-manning teams.
Though the borders were reopened in December 2020, the operatives were retained and redesigned to continue surveillance and counter-smuggling. The codename for the operation was changed to Joint Border Patrol.
Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), retired Col. Hameed Ali, confirmed the change of status and expectations from the operation while speaking in February.
“We just set up a joint border patrol. It is an offshoot of the joint border drill, which was the operation we launched to close our borders,” Ali said.
In addition to other responsibilities, the operatives were tasked to stop the importation of illegal arms and contraband goods as part of efforts to address rising security challenges while at the same time boosting local production of assorted food items like rice, oil, among others.
The non-payment of the Duty Travel Allowance (DTA) for a long period is affecting the morale of officers and threatening a key security operation of the country, security sources familiar with happenings said.