- Brainstorming on acceptability of notifying people on no travel list
COMPTROLLER General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede has decried the aggression on officers of the service face when they try to stop black listed passengers from leaving the country and are in conversation currently to see if people can be notified of their inability to travel.
Babandede who spoke Thursday at opening ceremony of a three-day senior management retreat on strengthening migration management through best practices organized in conjunction with International Organization for Migration (IOM) was visibly concerned at the hatred doled on officers especially as they are carrying out orders.
According to him, it became pertinent in view of the aggression that the service needs to sit down and brainstorm to interrogate the rules and know to what extent they can be allowed to notify those facing travel bans so they are aware of their travel status beforehand instead of learning when they are at airports. READ MORE: NIS explains why passport re-issuance timeline is extended to 3weeks
Babandede said,”A big man was refused travel, he may have committed an offense and he was blaring. This is a very big man but he was not allowed to travel and called on phone, ‘Babandede see how your officers are dealing with me, your officers are saying I can’t travel and I said sir, I am sorry it is not our fault, our duty is to stop people who ought not travel and we are just doing our work.
“I told him, you can come to the office and I’d explain but unfortunately, today you cannot travel, I’m very sorry sir. He said if they had talked to me this way I would have gone home.”
He continued, “So this makes me to think a lot, one of the things we are interrogating today among ourselves is that people who are not allowed to travel, can they know? Because the hatred on us comes when they are told when they already reach the airport, if there is stop list, if there is travel ban, except if that person is hiding or a fugitive but if he is physically around and we know him that we can tell them investigation is ongoing, can we tell the person, we need to interrogate this, can we tell the person sorry sir, you cannot travel due to this or that reason is that going to be an offense by law? READ MORE: NIS to strengthen alliance with border communities to check illegal migration and settlement
He added, “These are the issues we need to interrogate. I know what it is to pack your bag, when you have book your hotel, when we pay for ticket, when you have arranged car to pick you, when you say bye to your family only to be stopped at the airport. Is it possible we can do something to genuine people to know, I don’t mean those who can run away, but if you undergoing investigation and due to that reason you cannot go, can we tell them? So these are the issues we will discuss in closed doors and find solutions, “ Babandede said