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Migrants Debacle: Babandede’s Revolution

By Ajibola Abayomi

On July 12, 2019, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) launched the migrant-e registration to document data of immigrants in the nation.

President Muhammadu Buhari was represented by the Secretary to the Federal Government, Mr Boss Mustapha at the occasion which attracted dignitaries from all walks of life.

Reacting during a recent exclusive chat with TheLead Magazine, the Comptroller General of NIS, Muhammed Babandede stated that parts of what the  registration sought to address was influx of irregular migrants posing challenges to the security in the country.

Speaking through the Public Relations Officer of the Service, Deputy Controller Sunday James, he reiterated that the leadership of NIS across the 36 states and Abuja have commenced rapport with stakeholders and community leaders on the need to sensitise them on the e-migrant registration.

For NIS, no stone would be left on turn to secure the Nigeria borders despite the large expanse of land the agency has to cover.

On ways of collating data and effectively policing of the border posts by men of the Service, James explained that “manning of the border space with large expanse of land between Nigeria and Niger, Chad, Benin Republic, Cameroon and others at different territories is being done with men and technology.

“Already the Service is deploying technology to capture the returnees and movements across the borders.”

He said the blue border covering the sea territories along waterways was receiving attention of the immigration as well.

“Despite that the task of policing the borders is enormous the NIS is envisaging Virtual Border that would permit us to deploy drones and other logistics to monitor both operations and server of the immigration across all the posts.

“On irregular migration, we are interfacing with other agencies like the police, customs and navy at the sea posts. We also receive deportees and their data are with us.

“Further to that, to cater for their special needs is a responsibility of all apparatus of government and the media as well. However, we are on top of the situation to enlighten the public on proper migration and deal with all cases in accordance to the laws of the land and NIS regulations.”

James averred that at the airport, the NIS has electronic monitoring system round the clock in conjunction with the Interpol service called e-Interpol 247, an electronic system that monitors passengers’ activities to prevent and curb criminality, fugitives,  keep records of deportation and extradition.

While stating that the nation placed premium on her international passport, the PRO said that gone were the days when it was possible for anyone to have multiple Nigerian passports irrespective of status.

He said the latest Nigerian passport issuing system, mandated registration with the National Identity Card number.

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