19th July 2024

Interstate Boundary Demarcation, Proved Successful In Tinubu’s Administration – NBC

The National Boundary Commission (NBC) says it has advanced the course of definition and demarcation of about 15 interstate boundaries in the last one year.

The Director-General of the commission, Mr Adamu Adaji, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja,while assessing the impact of President Bola Tinubu’s administration in boundary management after one year in office.

According to Adaji, NBC recorded significant progress in defining and demarcating interstate and international boundaries under President Bola Tinubu-led administration.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)  that the commission carried out joint meetings of officials, some field investigations and even attempted to demarcate some of the boundaries.

“For those that are yet to be resolved, we are engaging the parties to see how we can resolve them.

“The resolution processes entail physical field exercises, going to trace the boundaries alongside the people or parties concerned,” he said.

At the international level, the DG said that similar feats had been recorded in addressing boundary disputes between the country and her neighbours.

He said the commission had made progress, particularly, in the implementation of the rulings of the International Court of Justice on Nigeria and Cameroon.

“Previously, the Commission had placed about 1,200 pillars along the boundary in strict adherence to the rulings of the International Court of Justice.

“In the last one year, we’ve been able to add about 500 more pillars.

“In the case of Nigeria and Niger, which is a very peaceful boundary, we’ve been able to collaborate with our Nigerien counterpart to erect more pillars to make the boundary more visible.

“This is a boundary that is about 1,500kms in length, but, has only 148 pillars that had been put in place by the colonial masters. You can imagine just 148 pillars covering a stretch of 1,500 km.

“So, we have been able to place about 200 more intermediate pillars in between these main pillars.

“In fact, just last week, we went to sensitise the border communities in Jigawa state to the need to prepare for the placement of 40 more intermediate pillars along the border,” he added.

For Nigeria and Benin Republic border,  Adaji said the boundary had been dormant, which necessitated the commission to reactivate discussions with Benin government, last year.

He said that officials from the two countries had met and agreed to continue with the resolution process.

“I think in about a week or two, we will be going to Cotonou to inaugurate a committee that will search for relevant documents to resolve the outstanding grey areas.

“We have grey areas in the Ogun state section and of course the northern part, where issues of the exactness of the instrument to use, are still being contested by the two countries.

“But, the good thing is that, we have been able to activate discussions. We even had a kind of memorandum of understanding to create cross-border cooperation.

 “The agreement to that effect has been signed by the two countries.

“It was initiated last year, and just recently, we both signed the agreement to formalise the promotion of cross-border cooperation,” he said.

On the border with Ghana, Abaji said the Commission has been able to, reopen discussions towards defining the maritime boundaries

He attributed the success so far recorded to the commitment of the Tinubu-led government in the pursuit of his eight-point agenda to renew the hope of the citizens.

He said: “I think, largely, we will credit the commitment of the government to the promotion of enhanced security.

“The Tinubu’s administration is supporting agencies like the National Boundary Commission, whose activities border on the promotion of security.

“We have improvement in our budget provision.

“Though we can’t say it’s enough, but at least, there is great improvement and that has been able to spur us to carry out some activities that, ordinarily, it would have taken longer time to carry out.

“With that encouragement, I think the states are also keying into this renewed hope agenda of the federal government.

“They are beginning to cooperate more and to give boundary activities priority attention,” Adaji said.

Speaking on n challenges, the DG said that boundary management was capital intensive, adding that non-establishment of State and Local Government Boundary Committees in some of the states and local government councils was equally a challenge.

He said discussions were ongoing to encourage the state and local councils to not only establishe the committees, but make them functional.

He also said that going forward, the commission would strengthen cross border cooperation, including constructing a shared infrastructure to encourage peaceful coexistence among border communities.

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