These agencies made this known in a joint communiqué issued at the end of a-three-day senior management retreat for IOM and NIS officials organized by IOM titled “Strengthening Migration Management through Best Practices” aimed at deepening understanding and cooperation in modern Border Security and Migration Management
The communiqué signed by IOM Chief of Mission, Frantz Celestin and Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede MFR on July 3, 2021 highlighted that the IOM will commit to enhanced partnerships and cooperation with NIS on border security and migration management efforts.
Discussions at the three-day event bordered exhaustively around emerging issues of border security and migration management, resource persons among the participants made presentations on a variety of topics during plenary Sessions at the meeting.
Important matters highlighted were a practical break on the NIS Border Management activities that unveiled the various developmental stages of infancy, current state and prospects for the future.
Participants agreed that some progress has been made over the years but called for enhanced investment and interests in systems automation, enhanced border community engagements, strategic collaboration among border officials at contiguous borderlines and improved interoperability of border communication systems among border agencies of countries sharing common borderlines.
They also canvassed a closer look on the need for the creation of buffer Zones along common borderlines and stressed that capacity building efforts are critical to operational effectiveness and efficiency stating further that the ongoing Passport reforms be deepened while processes and procedures for residency be improved to ensure the integrity of the documents.
They drummed up support on the need for enhanced deployment of MIDAS/API infrastructure at strategic service windows stating that this will require huge commitment to regular systems maintenance and servicing to ensure operational effectiveness and efficiency.
The strategic meeting also brought to the fore the need for deeper relationship between the two agencies and common understandings were reached on enhanced commitment to border security and migration management architecture, joint endorsement for capacity building for the workforce, higher investment in systems and border security infrastructure maintenance culture for efficiency as well as the need for deeper engagements with relevant stakeholders in border security and migration management.
The communiqué’s resolution read,” NIS to commit to healthier inter-agency cooperation between and among relevant border security agencies within and outside the country and that concerted efforts be made to revamp and reinvigorate relationships with traditional institutions and members of border communities to earn their understanding and ownership of border security efforts.
It further read, “That more investments be made for dedicated Information Technology (IT) officials to have specialized IT skills related to the overall management of MIDAS infrastructure and that NIS should ensure the activation of its active directory infrastructure to incorporate intranet, dashboard, internal domain, network monitoring portal remote administration platforms among others for border security infrastructures.
The programme’s highlights included a goodwill message from the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who thanked IOM for its consistent support to NIS as well as a remark by the Chief of Mission IOM, Frantz Celestin, expressed great delight for the existing cordial working relationship between both agencies and called for more collaboration.
IOM has remained a great partner to the NIS in border security and migration management as demonstrated by the organization of this high-level retreat.
The MIDAS architecture and indeed border security implementations in Nigeria since commencement has been funded by the Governments of Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), Denmark, Canada, Japan, the European Union and Norway.