This Day (Lagos)

31 January 2013

Nigeria: Immigration Steps Up Border Patrol to Curb Illegal Immigrants

As part of its effort to curb the influx of illegal immigrants into the country, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has reinforced the country's border by recalling more officers from the hinterland where they are not currently needed to fortify the border patrol considering the ongoing war efforts in Mali.

The Acting Comptroller General of the NIS, Deputy Comptroller Bala Rilwan Musa, disclosed this Wednesday in Abuja while addressing journalists.

Musa explained that the proactive measures were being taken to forestall any backlash from the Malian crisis, especially at the northern borders through which some of the terrorists might attempt to enter the country.

"As regards to Mali, we have taken proactive measures by enforcing the place with many officers; officers were called back from hinterland where they were not needed much and were posted to Borno, Kebbi, Yobe and Zamfara States' borders," he said.

"We know what is happening in Mali, Nigeria is a vulnerable country and people will want to move into Nigeria and we have been patrolling our borders to forestall any security challenges," he added.

The new immigration boss also disclosed that motorcycles had been purchased to help in patrolling the borders and to track down illegal immigrants that might want to cross into the country.

While reacting to questions from journalists on the issue of passport, Musa explained that the problem of passport did not end with the Immigration Service but with Nigerians.

"In as much as NIS is having problem with the issuance of passport, Nigerians do not help matters as they prefer to cut corners to achieve their aims instead of following the right channel," he noted.

On the recruitment saga, he promised that anytime NIS decide to carrying out the recruitment exercise, every local government in the country would be represented and that the exercise would be carried out in such a way that would be acceptable .

Musa equally stated that NIS must have vision which must be achieved in the shortest possible time, adding that it could only be done by carrying everybody along.

Besides, he added that there must be conformity with the global standard practice in the issuance of passport.

He said there would be training and retraining of staff, and also their promotions would be done "as at when due and it would be based on seniority and not by nepotism and sycophancy."

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