Nigeria: Immigration Stops 150 Illegal Migrants From Travelling Through MMIA

9 December 2019

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos Command has denied 150 suspected victims of human trafficking from departing the country in the last three months.

The Command has also issued over 58, 000 visa on arrival since January 2019 to date.

Speaking during the unveiling of the upgraded Immigration office facilities, that was donated by Access Bank Plc, as part of the bank's corporate social responsibility (CSR) at the Lagos airport recently, the Controller of the Command, Lagos Airport, Abdullahi Musa Usman, said not less than 150 people were refused departure by the service in the last three months because they did not fulfill the requirements of passing through the control post.

He said this development was sequel to its anti-human trafficking training programme for its staff focused on identifying illegal movements of people in and out of the airport.

"Most of the persons we refused departure either do not know where they are going to or what they are going there to do. Although, we are not able to lay hands on the traffickers but we are working hand in hand with the relevant authorities to arrest the traffickers," he said.

The comptroller said after profiling and questioning the suspected victims who are often between the ages of 16 to 40 years, most of them engaged in the act because they are either greedy or totally ignorant.

Usman, also disclosed that since January 2019 till date, the service has been able to issue over 58,000 visa on arrivals, adding that the visa on arrival lounge at the airport has been expanded to accommodate the surge in demand.

He stressed that cash payments are no longer allowed at the visa on arrival security post to reduce any form of bribery, as applicants are advised to either pay online or use the Point of Sale (POS) machines.

Usman, said the service has also introduced Migrant Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS) to accelerate passenger clearance in short time.

He explained that the system works in such a way that the image and 10 fingers of passengers coming into the country for the first time are captured but subsequently, only one finger will be captured upon entry into the airport.

He said this way, the service keeps record of number of visitors coming in and leaving the airport on a daily basis.

He noted that the service introduced Servicom Unit to ensure services rendered are done according to global best practices, adding that Access bank has chosen to partner with the service to deliver best services to passengers.

"Access bank said they want to assist us in providing facilities that will help create enabling environment and improve our services," he said.

On his part, the Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu, commended the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command, saying that the bank was prompted to upgrade facilities at Immigration offices at the airport because of the efficient management of the Command.

Etuokwu, commended Musa for transforming the Command, adding that even the officers and men at the airport were happy because of Musa's style of leadership.

"The role of Immigration is very critical for the country and this Command is efficiently carrying out this their responsibility. At Access Bank, we support good things that have national interest and that is why we want to identify with what is happening here," he added.

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