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1.1         Background to the Study

Defining or characterizing “border crime” would be difficult, given several components have been identified as comprising it. However, “trans-border crime” refers to a variety of unlawful and infamous acts carried out across national and international borders by people and groups for financial or commercial gain, as well as sociopolitical or religious motives. It is a collection of criminal activities whose perpetrators and consequences extend across national boundaries. These include human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling or trafficking, international terrorism, illegal oil bunkering, illicit diamond trafficking, corruption, and commercial fraud, to name a few.

Ortuno and Wiriyachai (2009) assert that the last several years have seen a substantial growth in worldwide criminal activities such as money laundering, human and nuclear technology and material trafficking, human organ trafficking, and migrant smuggling.     When one speaks of security, he or she is referring to the security of life and property, the security of the economy and economic sectors of the country, the security of food and raw materials resources, the security of the environment and people, the security of the environment and national integrity, and the security of preserving everything that society regards as significant and valuable (Imobighe, 2000). Security is often a top concern for all nations, including Nigeria, because it impacts not just the fulfilment of people’ wants, but also, and more significantly, the nation’s existence as a functional entity.

When a government fails to execute its responsibilities along its border areas, it creates opportunities for various crimes to enter the country and undermine the state’s national security. Border criminal groups and gang members constantly develop new methods at a rate that law enforcement authorities cannot keep up with..

A strategy to gain operational control of Nigeria’s vast and porous borders should focus on building means to constrain illegal and unauthorized crossing at points of entry and exists. Such measures must be able to interdict smuggling over land, sea and air. These strategies must entail strong legislation with no escape clause for animals (Daniel Nte, 2011).

The strategies must be dynamic, competitive and flexible to allow constant re-engineering to counter new threats. Conflict prevention, management, rule of law, human rights, poverty reduction, youth and female gender empowerment are also palliative strategies.

Tackling cross border crimes through enforcement and legislation will not be sufficient to ensure sustainable development this is because the underlying causes of nearly all cross border crimes have links to economic disparity, bad governance and poverty. These three key elements are the bedrock of the state failure and global terrorism (Daniel Nte, 2011).

The dilemmas that Nigeria faces with insecurity call for critical investigation of the border entry points whether they are performing their strategic functions or not (Daniel Nte, 2011).Though despite the nation’s avalanches of insecurity must remain open to movement of people, goods and services if it is to prosper. At the same time, openness without credible controls makes it possible for emerging threats of transnational crimes including terrorism to strive (Wille, 2008)


1.2         Statement of the Problem

Some scholars put more emphasis on absence of threat to acquire values or tendencies that would undermine national cohesion and peace as criteria for determining what security connotes (David 2006: Wolfrs 1962: Oche 2001). Security in the objective sense, measures the absence of threats to acquire values, in subjective sense, the absence of fear that such values will be attacked (Wolfrs, 1962). In spite of its conceptual complexities, the understanding of the term shows that security is vital for peace, security and sustainable development. Thus:


“Security has to be with freedom from danger or with threats to a nation’s ability to protect and develop itself, promote its cherished values and legitimate interests and enhance the well being of its people. Thus, internal security could be seen as the freedom from or the absence of those tendencies which could undermine internal cohesion and the cooperate existence of the nation and its ability to maintain its vital institutions for the promotion of its core values and socio-political and economic objectives, as well as meet the legitimate aspirations of the people. Internal security also implies freedom from danger to life and prosperity” (Imobighe cited in Oche: 76-77).

The problem of the study is to try and expose the effect of border crime on the security of the nation a case study of Niger-Nigeria border. In the wake of globalization and the explosion in communication technology, new security related threats have emerged that are to a great extent independent of national boundaries.


It is in line with these problems that this study examines the causes, nature, and pattern or occurrence of border crime and its implications on security in Nigeria, with a view of proffering useful recommendations.


1.3         Research Questions

  1. What are the causes, nature and pattern of border crime on Nigeria border?
  2. What impact does the border crime have on the security of Nigeria?
  3. What is the relationship between unemployment and border crimes?
  4. What are the efforts of Nigeria and Niger in curbing the menace?


1.4         Research Objectives

The study examines the evaluation of border crimes on the national security of Nigeria. This study seeks to:

  1. Find out the causes, nature and pattern of border crime in Nigeria.
  2. Examine the impact of border crime on the National Security of Nigeria.
  3. Assess the relationship existing between unemployment and border crimes.
  4. Assess the efforts of Nigerian government in curtailing the problem of border crime.
  5. To make recommendations towards effective control and preventive measures of the problem.


1.5         The Research Assumptions

  1. The higher the level of border crime the higher the state of the national insecurity.
  2. Border crime have an impact on security situation of Nigerians.
  3. The high level of unemployment leads to border crimes in Nigeria.
  4. The weakness of the state security agencies tends to engender border crimes.



1.6         Significance of the Study

This study will be of significant in making valuable contributions to knowledge as it examine the operations and activities of Trans-border criminals in havocking the security situation of the country.

It will also serves as a guide to the government of the nation in safe guiding the lives and property of the people of Nigeria.


1.7         Scope of the Study

The study examines evaluation of border crimes on the national security of Nigeria. This study is designed to cover the major border crimes along the Nigeria-Niger borders between 2002 to 2014


1.8         Limitations of the Study

This study had limitations mostly during data collection because of the people involved (i.e drug traffickers, money launders, arms and weapon traffickers, human traffickers etc), the researcher also faced problems in the gathering of information related to this research. Due to the fact that some of the law enforcement officials refused to grant interviews and those living along the borders were afraid of victimization. However, efforts were made to overcome these shortcomings.


1.9         Organization of Chapters

This study is organized into six chapters. Chapter one, present general introduction on the topic “Evaluation of border crimes on the national security of Nigeria” a case study of Niger-Nigeria border. This chapter explained among others, background of the study, the statement of the problem, research questions, objectives of the study, significance of the study, research assumptions, as well as the scope and limitations of the study were also highlighted.

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