Mr Adamu Adaji, Acting Director-General, National Boundary Commission (NBC), has called on the German government to support the Africa Union Border programme (AUBP).
Adaji made the call on Tuesday in Abuja, in an address at a workshop on the Regional Review and Planning of the AUBP in West Africa.
According to him, the AUBP was developed to use borders as vectors to promote peace, security, stability and to improve and accelerate integration through effective governance of borders.
Adaji added that it was to facilitate easy movements of people, goods, services and capital among AU States.
“I want to commend the German Government, through ‘Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit’ (GIZ), for the tremendous support in the formulation and implementation of the AUBP.
“Most African States have been grappling with the determination, demarcation and development of their international boundaries.
“It is against this background that the assistance of the German Government to some of the states have gone a long way towards engendering peace and harmonious coexistence among some of the affected border population.
“We call on the German Government to continue to render support to the programme of African Union Border,” Adaji said.
The NBC boss said that support from the German government had ensured the construction of 20 standard primary pillars and 88 intermediate boundary pillars in the Nigeria-Niger borders.
“Similarly, eight solar-powered boreholes have been constructed for some border communities.
“The GIZ also graciously contributed the sum of three million Euros to the Trust Fund Account for the demarcation of Nigeria-Cameroon International Boundary domiciled with the UN in New York.
“It would be appreciated if GIZ-AUBP gives further support to the NBC in such areas as the acquisition of Geo Spatial data, Vehicular and camping logistics, capacity development and archival services.
“The support in the organisation of appropriate campaigns to educate border communities on patriotism will help fight smuggling, trans-border crimes, peddling of small and light weapons, hard drugs and narcotics, banditry and kidnapping,” Adaji said.
Mr Ludwig Kirchner, GIZ’s ECOWAS Cluster Coordinator, in a remark, said that the Federal Republic of Germany had a long standing cooperation with AU and its member states in several areas.
He said that the German Minister of Foreign Affairs was supporting AU member states to have effective and sustainable border management.
“This is to prevent conflicts among member states and to promote interaction through peaceful, open and prosperous borders.
“Since the establishment of AUBP in 2007, Germany has supported its implementation in over 20 countries.
“ECOWAS region has been the most focused area of the German cooperation as 10 of its members’ states have benefited from GIZ direct support.
“Numerous border management activities have been conducted with tangible results and impacts in the areas of regional and national policy development, delimitation, reaffirmation, and cross border cooperation initiatives,” Kirchner said.
He said that the activities were aimed at preventing border-related conflicts, strengthening the stabilisation of the region and fostering regional cooperation and integration.
Mr Tei Konzi, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movements, said that enhancing free movements of people within the region was a major challenge.
He said that free movements within the region could not be enhanced if the borders were not properly managed.
“ECOWAS priority is to change the border area and you can only do that by creating jobs and empowering young people. This will discourage them from taking the risk of crossing the seas and desert to other countries.
“The role of women in nation building must also be enhanced to ensure that we have stability in the zone,” Konzi said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the workshop, which was last held in 2017 with Cote d’Ivoire as host, attracted officials from ECOWAS and many other stakeholders from other African countries.