- e-Registration captures 27,046 migrants so far- Babandede, CG
MINISTER of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has revealed Federal Government’s plan to limit or totally eliminating any form of racketeering existing around and about passport issuance, stating that government is bent on employing the use of technology to remove the human contact between passport seekers and issuers.
This is just as the E-registration started to capture irregular migrants in the country have registered no fewer than 27,046 migrants of which 17, 875 have been classified as irregular migrants in Nigeria.
The Minister made this known while declaring open the ongoing Annual Comptroller General of Immigration Conference 2019 holding in Edo State with theme: ‘Migration Management in a Developing Economy: The Role of NIS’, where he said technology has a vital role to play in service delivery in Nigeria but that the human factor needs to be trained to understand the import of their charges.
Aregbesola said: “Although the situation has improved in the Nigerian Immigration Service, there is room for improvement and with technology most of these things can be done and we are working on it. We are already on the Interpol watch list facility that will enable visitors coming to Nigeria to be known from the time when they purchase their tickets, we will now know most of the people coming into the country.
“Whatever technology we deploy however, the human factor is still important and one factor which is why we are here to ensure we are topmost. We are working on a template to make Nigerian passports available to Nigerians within the shortest available time and at the official cost. This administration is unequivocally committed to this.
All rackets around passport issuance at all passport offices must be eliminated. We are going to incentivize all of you, but soon we will eliminate human contact between passport seekers or applicants of passports and those who issue the passport. You don’t need to know them or meet them to serve them. With technology we shall deliver that very soon, but let us be committed to eliminating the racketeering today existing about and around passport issuance.
Aregbesola said that the Nigerian visas should be easily available to foreigners who genuinely want to come into the country for business or pleasure stating that the economy has a large capacity to grow and needs investments to do so.
In his welcome address, Comptroller General of the NIS, Muhammadu Babandede revealed that the Presidential directive to register all migrants regular and irregular have yielded some positive results with 27,046 migrants of which 17, 875 have been classified as irregular migrants showing that the move was working.
“In July 2019, President Muhammad Buhari GCFR granted amnesty to for 6 months on immigration related offences to allow irregular migrants to register within the time frame. Presently, the NIS has rolled out e- migration in 22 states of the federation and very interesting record is that we have registered 27, 046 migrants and for your information 17, 875 of them are irregular migrants which equals 66% of those registered already.
“This shows that this strategy is working because the idea is to get people who have no documentation to register.”
The CG also said the annual conference gave the service the opportunity to reflect on its activities, chart new course, strategize and evaluate policies and programs to enhance the system stating that the service is carrying out serious implementation of outcomes from its last conference.
“We have achieved successes on border management and security, it includes the following, was able to construct and equip 12 border operational bases for land border patrol in some strategic areas in 10 states of the federation. The effort ensures effective border patrol, the Minister of Interior commissioned one on the 12th of October.
“With the support of the IOM and the collaboration of some stakeholders we have developed a tidier national border management strategy 2019-2023 launched on August 2019 in Lagos by Minister of Interior.
Also speaking, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki thanked the NIS for holing the conference in the state stating that the topic was quite apt in this day and age and that every serious country is taking definitive position on their migration policies in order to protect and grow their economy.
According to him, no matter the reason, not having a clear migration policy is something no serious country can afford especially given the global trend of war, terrorism, lack of opportunities and even xenophobia.