- Command receives materials from Access Bank
IN furtherance to the fight against human trafficking around the nation’s airports, no fewer than 150 persons suspected of human trafficking were denied departure at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos in the last four months and has processed over 58,000 international passengers who have entered the country through the Visa On Arrival vista in the last 12 months.
This is just as Access Bank has donated office materials to the MMIA Command of Service received by the Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) Zone A, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Alfa Mohammed .
Comptroller of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Airport Command, Mr. Abdullahi Musa Usman who spoke to newsmen on the trafficking victims and Visa on Thursday said the victims ranged between the ages of 16 to 40 years and could not convince immigration personnel on duty the reasons for their planned emigration from the country.
He said the Service besides counseling them against the suicidal mission observed that many people were falling prey to the advances of traffickers on account of greed and ignorance.
On the Visa on Arrival, Usman said the command has stopped the collection of cash payment for all Visa On Arrival processing.
Affirming that the NIS has improved on its Visa On Arrival procedures, Usman said the service has stepped up its procedures in passenger border control with the launch of the Migrant Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS), for passengers flying into and out of the country for the first time.
Usman said MIDAS was designed by the NIS as a second layer of passengers profiling.
The new system, he said involves digital capturing of their 10 fingerprints. He said it was an improvement on the passengers’ bio-metric undertaken by the NIS after standard international passport is issued to its owner.
Usman said subsequent travels by such passengers will not require of them to carry out digital prints of the 10 fingers, but only the index fingers.
He said the process of carrying out MIDAS could lead to some delay in passenger profiling at the airports, urging passengers to exercise restraint and understanding.
Usman said the NIS Airport Command has expanded its lounge at the MMIA,in addition to setting up a Servicom Unit at the airport to resolve passengers’ complaints and their resolution.
Besides, he said the MMIA NIS Command has also set up an Anti- Corruption working aggressively to ensure that issues related to bribery and compromise are reduced to the barest minimum.
He said: ” In the last few months we have upped the game by ensuring we have improved working environment made possible by having a functional enabling environment team. We have also stepped up our efforts in capacity building through in – house training. This has helped us to improve our passengers profiling skills in line with international best practices.
” Recently we have stepped up our tracking on anti- human trafficking measures by denying boarding to one hundred and fifty persons, who were refused departure because they failed to meet the requirements of border control posts. These passengers do not know the reasons for their intent to travel and where they were travelling to.
” We had to counsel them, and in the self-discovery, they were happy we stopped them from such mission. But, we are making efforts to track down the traffickers.”
This is coming as Access Bank donated office materials to the MMIA command of NIS.
Speaking at the event, Executive Director, Retail Banking of 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.
He commended the Comptroller, Lagos Airport, Abdullahi Musa for the way he was transforming the Command and noted that even the officers and men at the airport are 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. We are happy with what we are doing. You have very credible personnel; officers and men who are happy doing their jobs,” he said.