Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: 31,556 Foreigners Denied Entry Into Nigeria

Abuja — The Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, has denied 31,556 foreigners entry into the country between January and May 2012.

According to the Public Relations Officer of NIS, Mr Joachim Olumba, the service refused the foreigners visas following a Federal Government order on closure of the nation's borders.

President Goodluck Jonathan had ordered the closure of some of the country's borders on December 31, 2011, when he declared a state of emergency in some local government areas in the North.

Olumba said 5,603 illegal immigrants were also repatriated from the country during the period under review, adding that discussions were on between the immigration service and other relevant agencies to remove settlement areas around the country's borders.

He said: "The aim is to build new communities for settlement so as to give the people a sense of belonging as their relocation is important to resolving the current security challenges in the country."

He also stressed the need to resettle and empower border settlers to discourage their involvement in illegal activities in the area.

He noted that people living along the borderlines were frustrating efforts by the service to control illegal movement of people and contraband in the border.

The immigration service is also exploring a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to tackle challenges in the management of the country's borders, revealed Mr Olumba.

"The arrangement will entail the construction of border plazas with high technology migration facilities, offices and barracks for security operatives," he explained.

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