Nigeria Border Patrol officers scream over eight months of non-payment of per diem
According to a report by SaharaReporters, security personnel participating in a rapid response exercise at the border with Nigeria are currently complaining of large debts due to the suspension of special allowances.
The officers called on the Nigerian government to pay them and end the operation so they can return to their families.
The rapid response exercise, coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser, was launched in August 2019, when President Muhammadu Bukhari closed Nigeria’s borders, reportedly for anti-smuggling and national security purposes.
The security personnel include members of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police, Department of Public Services, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service.
In a recent conversation with SaharaReporter, some of them said they still haven’t received their benefits for the past eight months.
They said the situation is so serious that, if not corrected, it could escalate into a security breach.
The customs official said that hoteliers in the border areas kicked most of them out of their hotels due to inability to pay bills.
He said: “We were last paid in June last year. This is not our area of responsibility; we were all lured from different states to participate in the ongoing border exercises. As such, all agencies that join it are eligible for the daily business travel allowance, but they usually pay it at the end of the month. From June last year until the moment I speak to you, we have not been paid.
“You know that the operation is coordinated by the office of the national security adviser, so in January of this year he sent a message that he insists that the finance minister free up funds so that they can pay, but the minister is unwilling to release the money.
“So we’re stuck here; many of us were evicted from the hotel. You won’t believe that valid Customs and Department of Public Services vehicles were handed over to the hotel owner as a guarantee until he can pay the hotel bills. ”