ACTING Comptroller General Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Isah Jere Idris has said that the service will not spare any officer caught in any unprofessional conduct at the nation’s airports stressing that acts like extortion, and other vices will attract drastic action as part of efforts to salvage the nation’s image.
Idris who visited the Murtala Muhammed International airport where he inspected the men and the working environment and meet with the airport manager to discuss modes of improving facilitation also stressed the import of facilitation stressing that part of the visit is to ascertain how to assist the airport command to increase desks and provide more equipment so facilitation would be seamless.
The Acting CG said, “We work 24/7,its an entry point and I came to see my officers and men to inform them on the need to be courteous, to be security conscious in the entry point. There are video clips going round on extortion at an airports so we need to talk to them, we need to synergize. It is not only NIS that is at the airport, several agencies are there and we need to do a family meeting, talk to our people and draw their attention to what is happening so they can work accordingly.
“The entry and exit ports were considered as critical reform points to ensure increased passenger experience. We certainly cannot continue to condone and unacceptable conducts particularly on our critical service windows. The image burden is huge while the economic implications of missing out on viable foreign investment are better imagined than explained.
“Some drastic actions against extortion, solicitation and all kinds of unprofessional conducts must be eschewed and we at NIS will not spare our personnel caught in any unprofessional practice. We must make conscious efforts to salvage our countries image.
“The laws are there. Quite recently, NIS has launched code of ethics and recall,few weeks ago, I was at Ikoyi too, so investigations are ongoing, anybody found wanting would be dealt with accordingly, the rules are there for whoever offends the law,” he said.
On creation of more desks at the gateway to further speed up facilitation as well as deployment of technology to help improve security at the international gateway, Jere stressed:”Additionally too on the area of clearance we have MIDAS, we are a security agency, we have to check and confirm whether you are not on the watch list. So the system is a bit slower but we are trying to increase the current desks, that is why I am here to see on the ground, to see how we are able to assist the NIS at the airport to provide more equipment for them so that these would be seamless.
On the need to aid facilitation at the nation’s international gateway, Jere said this was key as border security and efficient passenger facilitation are critical considerations in accessing the investment environment of nations.
While welcoming the Ag.CGI, the Regional General Manager of South West of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Victoria Shinaba expressed delight at the visit stressing that all agencies at the Ports should join forces to clean up the very unacceptable practices going on at the nation’s Ports.
She noted that all the secret cameras at the Lagos Port have been revamped and called on Passengers to report any poor conducts by any Officials through all available channels at the Ports for appropriate actions. She further called on other agencies at the Ports to step up checks and monitoring of their staff to ensuring that no Officials get away with any allegation of sharp practices.
The Acting CG was in company of Assistant Comptroller General Zone A, Mrs. Oluremi Talabi and Comptroller NIS, Airport Command A.A Dalhatu when they inspected the operations of the service at the MMIA and spoke to men of the service.
She praised the Ag.CGI for finding out time to personally come to Lagos for the very timely interactive Session with Officials and agencies at the Port to address the issue of poor service delivery. She noted that the message has been clearly delivered and assured that her Office shall continue to sensitize the workforce on the path of high quality service delivery to all Passengers.