… Malami Tasks Service On Border Security
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has disclosed that it has successfully captured 4, 378 migrants under its migrant e-registration exercise currently ongoing in the country.
Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammadu Babandede, disclosed this while briefing on the exercise journalists in Abuja. This is as the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has stressed the need to strengthen the country’s Immigration Service to address illegal cross-border movement. Babandede disclosed that in Abuja alone, the NIS has registered 2, 175 migrants, noting that majority of those who registered were staying irregularly.
“It means that if they are wanted by security operatives, they can be easily traced. Out of the 2, 175, we have noted that 1,194 are staying irregularly while only 981 are regular,” he disclosed.He said that the registration was part of the Service’s statutory responsibilities prescribed by Immigration Regulation 2017, adding that e-registration of migrants would help to improve Nigeria’s national security.
Babandede said the exercise in Ogun State, which began a few days ago, had captured 433 migrants. “Out of them, 401 were irregular migrants. So, they will be regularised and it is a good thing for our national security,” he added. Babandede said when the exercise is concluded, a special number would be created for them.
“There have been a lot of misconceptions that the amnesty is to enable foreigners to be citizens of Nigeria. It is not true. Citizenship is entirely a constitutional matter. You cannot be a citizen of Nigeria by amnesty. The amnesty only covers those who are in Nigeria when President Muhammadu Buhari announced it.
It simply means that if you come to the airport today or our land border and you know that you are going to stay more than 90 days, before the 90 days you are expected to register. Or after the 90 days you must register, if you don’t you have committed offense,” he noted.
Malami spoke yesterday in Abuja when the Coalition of Integrity Political Parties (CIPP) visited his office to congratulate him on his reappointment as minister.While speaking on the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, he said that the Immigration Service should be overhauled to profile people travelling out of Nigeria and checkmate illegal immigration.
The minister described the situation in South Africa as unfortunate, saying that it bordered on foreign policies and immigration issues in the African continent, since other nationals, aside Nigerians, were also affected.He said that strengthening the Immigration Service would help to account for Nigerians in foreign countries, including South Africa.
Malami described the habit of going through the Mediterranean Sea and deserts by some people, in their bid to travel out of the country, as illegal and unfortunate.Malami urged the youth to quit crossing the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara desert in the quest to seek for greener pasture.
“This is very important because by now, we should have been able to know who and who are in South Africa to defend the helpless and hapless Nigerians.“There is no greener pasture anywhere than our country. With farmlands everywhere, we must work harder rather than look for cheap means to migrate from the country where nobody drives us.“This is one of the problems I see when our people travel abroad illegally, which is now posing challenge; if they were to be here, we would have been able to account for their whereabouts,” he said.