According to a report by SaharaReporters, the safety operatives who are involved within the Exercise Swift Response along Nigerian borders are currently groaning under heavy debts as a result of the stoppage of their special allowances.
The officers urged the Nigerian government to pay them, and end the operation so that they will return to their respective families.
Exercise Swift Response, which is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser, was launched in August 2019 when Nigerian borders were closed by President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly against smuggling and for national security.
The security officers include those of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Bureau of Customs.
Speaking to SaharaReporters recently, a number of them said that they had yet to receive their allowances for the past eight months.
They said things were so bad that if not addressed, it could degenerate into a security breach.
A customs officer said hoteliers around border communities had driven most of them out of their hotels’ thanks to their inability to settle their bills.
He said, “The last time we were paid was last June. this is often not our area of responsibility; we were all drawn from different states to participate in the ongoing border drill. So all the agencies that are participating in it are entitled to Duty allowance a day but they typically pay at the top of the month. Since last June till this moment that I’m chatting with you, we’ve not been paid.
“You know the operation is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser, so this January, he sent a message that he had been pushing for the Minister of Finance to release funds so that they might pay, but the minister isn’t willing to release the cash.
“So, we are stranded here; many folks were evicted from the hotel. You won’t believe that the operational vehicles of Customs and Department of State Services got to a hotelier as collateral till once they would be ready to offset their hotel bills.”