By Peter Uzoho
On the heels of the reopening of four land borders by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Muhammad Babandede, has ordered the immediate dismantling of all checkpoints and roadblocks not approved by the federal government.
Babandede also directed that only checkpoints of 10 kilometres from the approved border towns must be operational.
The comptroller-general, in a circular to all heads of directorates, zonal coordinators, command comptrollers and heads of other formations of the NIS, dated December 10, 2020, explained that the directive was in line with observations raised by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), on the proliferation of security checkpoints and roadblocks on the highways.
He said such proliferation of security checkpoints and roadblocks had been identified as one of the reasons for loss of man-hours, increased prices of consumer goods and services and other items.
Babandede said: “While some of these checkpoints might be legal, most are not; hence the call by PEBEC on the appropriate authorities to curtail their activities.
“Consequently, I wish to reiterate the anti-corruption stance of the service in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption agenda and, therefore, enjoin all officers and men to be professional in the discharge of their duties as severe sanctions would be meted out to anyone found wanting in the course of performing his legitimate schedules.”