This article examines the politics of public policies characterised by increased securitisation of Nigeria’s national boundary from 2014 to 2017. While the regulation appears on paper to discourage transborder crime, capital outflow and sustain a favourable balance of payment, the existing armoury of West African border literature argues otherwise. What is new in the transborder dynamics of West Africa? What informs government’s border policies in Nigeria? In answering these questions, this study provides a template for a reassessment of the gap between borderlands theory and policy in West Africa. The approach is comparative based on the critical analysis of oral interviews, government trade records, newspaper reports and the extant literature. The article provides a platform for rethinking of the nexus between governance and development in West Africa from the securitisation and neo-patrimonial perspectives. It concludes that effective border management in Nigeria is set aback by misguided and dysfunctional elitist-centred regulations that are devoid of the realities on the ground.
Comment: The article shows that the Nigerian border security policy under the years of study, 2014-17, was vacuity of regulations driven by neo-patrimonial politics embedded in clientelism and patronage. The article proposes regionalism based on economic and political functional areas as an antidote to the crisis of the state in West Africa. It can be used in debates on securitisation and militarisation, particularly in the face of terrorism.