FG engages Huawei for electronic surveillance of land borders

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The Federal Government said it has concluded plans to sign an agreement with Huawei Technologies to establish an electronic surveillance system at the nation’s land borders to check illegal activities.

Huawei is a Chinese multinational technology corporation headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. Initially focused on manufacturing phone switches, Huawei has expanded its business to include building telecommunications networks, providing operational and consulting services and equipment to enterprises inside and outside of China, and manufacturing communications devices for the consumer market.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said the electronic surveillance system will strengthen existing immigration checks, to enhance the security of the country.

“As a matter of fact, we are at the point of signing an agreement with Huawei on e-border. This means we want to employ technology to put all the critical border positions on 24/7 satellite-based electronic surveillance.

“This will give us 24/7 real-time surveillance of designated border areas from all our monitoring centres, particularly the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) headquarters. You can as well press a button, know what is happening in Kamba border post, Jibia border and even Mfum among others,” he said.

The Minister assured that the Federal Government was committed to ensuring the safety of all citizens.

He added that the NIS in conjunction with other sister agencies would continue to do their best in curtailing illegal migration and all cross-border criminalities.

“We are the lead in border control, we are not the only agency in border management, but we’ll do our best to ensure Nigerians are safe. Virtually all the other security and intelligence agencies are involved, we are not relaxing, we are dedicated and committed. And we are zealous and ensuring that this move will reduce threats, and we’ll manage and control the borders,” he said.

He said Nigerian has one of the longest borders in Africa.

He said, “To really drive that home, Nigeria has about 5,000 kilometres of borderline. What that tells you is that it is not possible for you to have enough men that will man every inch or centimetre or millimetre of that borderline. But we have established border positions that are manned, spread across the entire length of the boundaries of Nigeria. But beyond that, which is about sovereignty, is the fact that the artificiality of our boundaries cannot just be thrown aside.

“It means that except where it is impossible for human beings to exist, there is no borderline where there is human existence that does not separate human beings, communities who are homogenous. It is in the South, West, Central, Northwest, Northeast, North-central. Every line of our boundary separates communities, homogenous communities, people of the same tongue, same eyes, same customs.

“So, how are you going to now ensure that the Nigerian, the Yoruba man on Nigeria side who is cut off by artificial line from his kinsmen in Benin republic will not interact?“

He, however, said Nigeria would not allow such a relationship to undermine national security.