In recent time transborder crime has remarkably increased in Nigeria, as a result of porous border and the inability of the security Agencies and border Police to rein illegal smuggling activities. This paper, therefore, assessed border crimes and challenges on Nigeria‘s economic development. The paper relied on primary and secondary sources of data; and adopted strain/anomie theory as the theoretical framework. The theory contends that crime is bred through strain imposed by a society that promises without fulfilling as people would respond to strain/anomie differently. While some people would bear lack of opportunity and continue to think for better days (retualists), others would respond to lack of opportunity by indulging in criminal behaviours or may attempt to achieve monetary success through illegitimate channels. The data collected were analyzed using simple percentages. The study revealed that poor border management is the cause of border crimes in Nigeria. The work recommended for training and re-training of security officers by the various security agencies; and constant awareness and / or enlightenment of the citizens on the effect of transborder crime through smuggling on economic development in Nigeria.

1.1 Background of study
In Africa, porous borders, marginalization of border populations and excessive centralization of state power, state weakness and the inability of the state to effectively control the full stretch of national borders have created what is termed “ungoverned space” or the “alternatively governed” areas mainly around border areas (Ismail, 2013; Agade, 2014; Clunan & Trinkunas, 2010). These spaces have been strategically exploited by transnational criminal groups including terrorist groups, arm traffickers, and human traffickers to carry out their nefarious activities (Ismail, 2013).

Notwithstanding the relative stability of Ghana, the country faces many transnational security issues that are connected or facilitated by porous and poorly managed borders (Sosuh, 2011). Issues of drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms trafficking, and smuggling of goods across the borders pose security threats of different proportions to the country. There is evidence that the country has become a major hub for drug traffickers trying to reach Europe and North America (Cockayne, 2011). The country is also said to be an origin, transit point and destination for men, women and children trafficked both within the country and outside it (US Department of State, 2016). In addition, the smuggling of commodities like cloths, drinks and other daily consumables into the country are undermining the country’s manufacturing sectors as well as the ability of government to generate revenue from taxes. There is also loss of revenue to the state as a result of smuggling of cocoa, agriculture inputs (particularly government subsidize fertilizers), and petroleum products out to the three neighboring countries of Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Togo (Kumar, 1973; Nugent, 1991; Oxford Business Group, 2013; Buliř, 1998).

Many of these transnational crimes have been aided by border residents who have intimate knowledge of the border terrain. For instance, (Azure Junior, 1999) documented how border resident aid the smuggling of goods, particularly pirated textile across the eastern border into Ghana. In drug trafficking, there is evidence that local fishermen n aid the smuggling of drugs into Ghana. Large shipments at sea are often broken into smaller packages and offloaded onto small fishing vessels, which carry the drug on shore unnoticed. In Ghana, the narcotics are repackaged and hidden in shipping containers or air cargo, and trafficked out of the country (US State Department, 2014). Studies revealed that the activities of border residents in Ghana have pointed to their involvement in goods smuggling and other illegal cross border exchange as coping mechanisms to poverty and unemployment (Nugent, 2011; Nugent, 2002; Raunet, 2016; Chalfin, 2001; Nugent, 1991).

Border security has become a severe issue in the world today as the rate of criminal activities has also increased in scale especially after the Cold War and in the wake of globalisation. It has become easy for transitional crimes to be conducted such as the moving of money, people and goods across the world because of advancement in telecommunications, transportation and technology in general(Afolayan, 1999). The world has turned into a ‗global village' with its peculiarities as well as problems. Globalization has allowed criminals to move across the borders unhindered and even continue with illegal business with impunity. This is not without consequences on socio-economic development and security of lives and property (Adepoju, 2005).

There‘s increase concern about cross border crimes and its implications for the international community. A variety of explanations have been put forward for its increase. In this era of globalization, the activities of cross border crime have increased, as criminals have identified the opportunities to gain greater rewards from criminal activity outside their traditional boundaries. These cross-border crimes are mostly symptomatic rather than causes of instability as experienced in Nigeria. The higher levels of disposable income in Western Europe and North America create a marketing opportunity for the illicit trade for the rest of the world. This is not limited to the trade in drugs but extends to almost all criminal currency; prostitution, pornography, protection and counterfeiting (Van, 2002, Julins, 2002).

The nature of cross-border crimes has changed rapidly in recent years through the use of technology, networks, the loosening of travel restrictions, and through criminal diversification. Crime networks are complex and to break them is a massive task for police forces worldwide. This is perhaps due to the fact that the heads of these organisations have powerful connections, and their wealth enables them to bribe officials. Transnational crimes are crimes that have actually effect across national borders and crimes which are intra-State but which offend the fundamental values of the international community (Boister, 2003). In recent times, the word, transnational crime is used in the law enforcement agencies and academic communities to describe crimes that are not only international (that is, crimes that cross borders between countries), but crimes that by their nature involve cross-border transference as an essential part of the criminal activity. Transnational crimes also include crimes that take place in one country, but their consequences significantly affect another country and transit countries may also be involved. Examples of transnational crimes, therefore, include human trafficking, smuggling/trafficking of goods (such as arms trafficking and drug trafficking and illegal animal and plant products and other goods prohibited on environmental grounds (e.g. banned ozone- depleting substances), sex slavery, terrorism offences, torture and apartheid.

The 2004 General‘s Report on ways to combat subregional and cross border crimes in Nigeria identified major cross-border problems including the continued weakening of the security sector, proliferation of roadblocks, youth unemployment, environmental degradation, social exclusion, Explosive Remnants of War(ERW), mass refugee movements and forced displacement. Inequitable and illicit exploitation of natural resources, weak national institutions and civil society structures and violations of human rights, including the rights of women, were also identified as other serious problems afflicting the sub-region (de Andrés, 2008, Boister, 2003, Mueller, 2001). Cross border crimes in Nigeria have been in existence since the 1970s. Initially, they were manifested in the form of individuals or groups of traders and businessmen and women smuggling goods across the borders. These activities eventually assumed alarming proportions when human trafficking, for the purposes of domestic slavery and illegal sexual activities. As criminal activities developed, other illegal activities such as the peddling of narcotics and car-jacking among other things, by transnational syndicates (de Andrés, 2008) have been added.

Nigeria borders has been battling with transnational crimes security ranging from drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal arms trafficking, smuggling of all kinds, (contraband, stolen cars, firearms) theft, advance fee fraud known as 419, to kidnapping and many more. These activities constitute a threat to global and national security as they affect the socioeconomic development and are tarnishing the image of the country. Nigerians are being embarrassing daily base on financial scams and other related trans-border crimes.

The manifestation of conflict and insecurity in Nigeria‘s borders is the problem of boundary adjustment and porous nature of Nigeria borders especially Idiroko border in Ogun state. The border has many entry and exit points. It is important to note that African borders have been designed by the Europeans that used individual lines based on longitude and latitude to map out Africa. African boundaries do not represent the complete, full-fledged territorial barriers or take into cognisance of the ethnic divisions. For example in Nigeria, its physical area joins between the four neighbouring states, whose inhabitants were linked by socio- economic, political and cultural ties. It was not surprising therefore that the boundary issues with Cameroun and Nigeria have been the colonial inheritance (Imobighe, 2003).

The pragmatic increase in armed violence across the Nigerian state is no doubt the function of the availability of small arms and light weapons playing an undeniable role in perpetuating violence from criminal related activities to full-blown war. Nigeria is located in West Africa and has boundaries with the Republic of Niger to the North, Chad to the Northeast, Cameroon to the East and Southeast, Benin to the West, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south, all totaling 4910km of boarder outstretch ( Stohl and Tuttle, 2009; Nte, 2011; Okeke, Oji and Richards, 2014). These border areas are notoriously porous and remain haven for criminal smugglers.

The country's nascent democracy is today being tested by rampant crime, which has enhanced an unprecedented influx of arms and ammunition into the country, and the ongoing campaign of terror. In the southern part of the country, civil unrest threatens safety and stability. In the east, gangs who kidnap expatriates for ransom lie in wait on the roads, in bars, and cities. In the north, the Islamic terrorist group called Boko Haram is growing both in number and brutality, as well as bandits, who are posing brazen challenges to the government with the issuance of ultimatum of "leave or die" to Christians living in northern Nigeria. The inability of the government to show enough will to protect the people and rein the criminals is exerting adverse effect on socio-economic development of the country (Agaptus, 2013). The ongoing armed attacks in some parts of the country, and some persons possessing AK 47, automatic and assault rifles, illegally and automatic rifles could have only found their ways into the country through the borders. Also, smuggled goods such as rice and vehicles whose importations have since been banned through the land border still flood the country through the numerous unapproved land border routes. Therefore, this study is an attempt to examine the effect of trans-border crimes on Nigeria‘s economic development.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nigeria borders have many entry and exit points, even as the people are extremely volatile, thereby making it difficult to police the border. The community dwellers within the border point see smuggling as an enterprising businessmen and women, and are finding it difficult to refrain from illegal trades, which constitute serious economic sabotage to the country. The boundary between Benin and Nigerian is not clearly defined, making it difficult to distinguish between Nigerian border and Benin. Beside, some houses are half way into Nigeria and half way into Benin. Some people who smuggle contra-band items into the country through the border even believe that they are trading, since they had engaged in smuggling for decades without thinking of the havoc it does to the nation‘s economy. Through the borders, substandard goods, fake drugs and unhealthy food items like chicken and turkey have found their ways into Nigeria.

Corruption and bad governance is considered as the most powerful promoter of transnational organized crime. This is because organized crime groups are involved in corrupting certain government officials such as the security forces, as well as the judiciary. The evil and inept attitudes of border officials resulting in the numerous checkpoints of bamboo suspended by oil drums also contribute negatively to the border crimes. The insufficient workforce or personnel in Nigeria border has also constitute negative impact on the safety of Nigeria borders. There is also the inability of government to provide essential social amenities in the rural areas as well as the border communities.

The anti-smuggling campaign at the Idiroko Command has been in its intensity and they have been recording seizures of Tokunbo vehicles, frozen products, rice, and usedclothes among other unwholesome imported goods. But despite the effort of cross-border security agencies like the Nigerian police, Customs service, and Immigration Services. Nigeria border have been described as porous allowing all sorts of cross-border or transborder criminal activities.

Nigeria continues to face serious security challenges due to cross-border or trans-border criminal activities. Thousands of people, both civilians and combatants, are being killed or injured every year in the country. Even when death or injury is avoided, small arms proliferation and misuse can dramatically impact a community, country or region‘s landscape. The threat and use of small arms can undermine development, prevent the delivery of humanitarian and economic aid, and contribute to refugee and internally displaced persons (IDP) populations (Stohl & Tuttle, 2009). The borderless nature of Nigeria communities has further posed security threat into the life of Nigerian citizens.

1.3 Research Objectives
The specific objectives of this study include:

1. To examine the leading causes of Border crimes in Nigeria.

2. To assess the effects of border crimes on Nigeria economic development.

3. To identify the efforts in handling trans-border crimes and the challenges on Nigeria.

4. To provide possible way forwards to address border crimes and its challenges on Nigeria economic development.

1.4 Research questions
1. what is the leading causes of Border crimes in Nigeria?

2. What are the effects of border crimes on Nigeria economic development?

3. what are the efforts in handling trans-border crimes and the challenges on Nigeria?

4. what is the possible way forward to address border crimes and its challenges on Nigeria economic development?

1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study is one, the value or contribution which the research is going to make to existing knowledge in terms of theoretical justification or relevance; and two, the solution the research is going to provide towards ameliorating a practical problem of concern (Obasi, 1999). A research can be justified because it is (i) timely, topical or auspicious (ii) closing an existing gap in knowledge or the literature (iii) theoretically relevant (iv) practically relevant (v) in accordance with national priority (vi) in accordance with priorities set by research funding agency (vii) wider in scope in terms of issues covered or geographical arrears covered, and (viii) useful for confirming/ accepting or rejecting existing findings. It lists out the groups, institutions that are likely to benefit from the findings or discoveries of research. Therefore, the study has theoretical and practical relevance. The theoretical relevance of this study is that it examines the implications of cross border crimes in West Africa for Nigeria’s national security and external relations. By so doing, the study enriches the existing stock of literature or expands the frontiers of knowledge through its findings, therefore serves as a source of data/material to those scholars who may be interested in further studies in this area. Empirically or practically, this study will be of immense benefits to Nigerian government, security advisers, defence advisers, policy makers, regional institutions like AU, ECOWAS, etc. the study is also timely and topical.

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