- Charges NIS on 48-hour response to passport, Visa applications, approvals
AS part of efforts to strengthen safety and security especially around the nation’s border, Federal Government through Honourable Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to put a strict implementation process of the Border Management Strategy in place.
This is just as he charged the NIS to ensure that Nigerian passports and other migration documents including entry visa, resident permit as well without any issues should be available within 48hours maximum after application and at the official fee
Aregbesola gave the directives when he declared open the Comptroller General Management Retreat 2019 and launching of Border Management Strategy Document held in Lagos.
According to Aregbesola, the Retreat was organized for the Management Cadre to brainstorm in strategic sessions and provide tactics of implementing the reforms being carried out by the Service in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration’s focus, which is Security, Economy and Transparency (SET).
Aregbesola said further that the Retreat will provide the major input in the development of several Strategic Document of NIS to cover 2019 – 2023, adding that the officers and men of the Service must act as moral agents and in the best interest of the country, as it is only then that the efficient Border Security Management would be achieved.
“The primary role of the Immigration Service is the Security of the border and migration management. No unwanted, suspicious and criminal person must be allowed entry into our nation just as we are to prevent the exit from Nigeria of all known domestic real felons and or domestic potential felons from leaving Nigeria to tarnish our image abroad”, he said.
He called on participants at the Retreat to debate and agree on the model and period it must take for a Nigerian to apply for and obtain the passport from our system anywhere in the world as swiftly as possible within the minimum human contact.
“Should there be justifiable delay in delivering on this commitment, there must be a mechanism to communicate, such reasons (s) within a period as agreed in the retreat to such applicant for the passport which must not be later than 72 hours, after discovering such reason.”
The Minister emphasized that with technology, Nigeria Immigration Service must eliminate the tradition of endless wait for obtaining the Nigerian Passport by Nigerians desirous of having one.
“With technology, it is possible to process and obtain the passport within 48 hours, if the application does not have any issues. Nigerian passport should be available within 48hours maximum after application and at the official fee, the same goes for entry visa, resident permit, seamen license, as well as application and processing of other services”, he said.
Speaking earlier, the Comptroller General of the NIS, Muhammad Babandede explained how the Service planned to implement within two (2) years the e-border program, which if implemented properly, will ensure the nation’s borders are monitored real time.
He said,” Despite the challenges at the border, I will like to thank Mr. President for approving, in Council, the e-Border program. The program will be implemented in 2 years where 4, 047 kilometres of land borders will be monitored real-time. It will cover 86 Border Control Posts (BCP) comprising of 6 Mega Control Posts, 16 medium Control Posts and 64 Mini Control Posts.”
“The BCP will be equipped with High Definition (HD) video surveillance for pedestrians, observable thermal and optical Bi-Spectrum for low visibility environment, unified IP telephony and video conferencing facilities, advanced Elte Multi-media walkie-talkie communication”
Babandede explained that to tackle power generation for the equipment especially in remote locations there will be solar grid and D.G Hybrid power solution for all posts.
He concurred with the Minister of Interior on the 48 hours revert to applicants for documents stating that it is doable.