Nigeria will host the 16th edition of the Border Region in Transition (BRIT) Conference scheduled to hold in the country from 15th to 19th October, 2017, which will reflect on innovations relating to border and cross-border forces in line with global best practices.

The Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. (Rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, disclosed this in Abuja when he inaugurated the National Planning Committee (NPC) of the Border Region in Transition (BRIT) 2018 Conference.

The Minister said that the Conference, tagged BRIT2018, would bring about the convergence of intellectuals and experts from across the globe in Nigeria, at a time the Federal Government was confronting head-on the threats and challenges associated with trans-border crimes.

Gen. Dambazau listed the efforts of Government in addressing border security challenges to include: technologically-based and improved capacity-building for security personnel that man the borders; establishment of Joint Commissions with neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad, Benin, Cameroun, etc; provision of world-class equipment and border patrol vehicles, and the establishment of Border Management Institute at Tuga, Kebbi State.

The Minister, who was represented by the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary (DOOPS) in the Ministry, Dr Rufa’i Attahiru, charged the Committee on organizing a successful Conference that would enhance the image and rating of the country.

He congratulated the 21-member Committee on their appointment to serve the nation and enjoined them to be focused and resolute in performing the task, assuring them of the support of Government in organizing a successful Conference.   

The Minister believed that the Conference would enable a cross-fertilization of ideas on border management between Nigerian intellectuals, researchers and practitioners, on the one hand, and their counterpart from other parts of the world, on the other hand, especially on devising ways to deal with the peculiar border challenges confronting the sub-region.

Gen. Dambazau added that such a conference, with renowned scholars and professionals in attendance, has always been an avenue for forging “strategic linkages and collaboration” between individuals and institutions, which could lead to the implementation of joint programmes and projects.

Earlier, the chairman of the committee, Prof. Tajudeen Akanji, said the conference would bring scholars and practitioners together to come up with workable solutions to border management, and also create an opportunity for Nigeria to learn from other countries and subsequently formulate policies on border management that are of international standard.

According to him, the BRIT Conference is a leading international scientific conference of interdisciplinary Researchers and Professors of international repute, who meet every two years to contribute to a collective reflection on innovations relating to border and cross-border dynamics.

Prof. Akanji said that the Conference, which theme is: “North-South Dialogue on Border Management”, would bring together scholars and practitioners from the global North and South to exchange ideas on how to improve border management for the betterment of the two parts of the world in the context of global migration.

The forthcoming Conference, tagged BRIT2018, to be hosted by Nigeria and Benin Republic, is the first to hold in Africa since inception in 1994.

The Conference will be organized by the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS), University of Ibadan, in collaboration with the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs, National Boundary Commission, Border Communities Development Agency, and any university from Republic of Benin.