By Naomi Sharang
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Thursday, unveiled its National Border Strategy 2019 to enhance national security.
Comptroller-General of the Service, Mr Muhammad Babandede presented the document in Abuja with stakeholders in the sector in attendance.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project was funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
He said that the strategy would also help in contributing to national economic development, reinforcing social harmony and ensuring migrants’ human rights and the protection of vulnerable migrants.
“The NIS National Boarder Management Strategy (NBMS) 2019 to 2023 articulates a renewed five-year vision and institutional approach to border management in Nigeria.
“This is within the scope of the Nigeria Immigration Service,” Babandede said.
Babandede explained that when the borders were safe, it would result into a safe nation.
“So the document has addressed the issue of national security, border security and addressed border as a means of trade.
“It will ensure transparency; it will reduce corruption, it will help to ensure that human rights are protected and we will ensure that smugglers and traffickers are not allowed to leave or enter our country.”
House Committee Chairman on Interior, Mr Nasir Daura, said that the committee would ensure that the NIS was given the necessary support to ensure smooth implementation of the policy.
He said the document would help to provide the requisite protection that could ensure the respect and dignity of human rights.
“As a committee, we will make the Nigeria Immigration Service more effective by providing the necessary budgetary support to better manage the borders.”
In her remark, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said that the effective implementation of the strategy depended on dynamic institutional framework and robust political backing.
Ahmed was represented by a staff of the project office (migration) Mr Ekom Umoren.
She said that the surge in transnational crimes, irregular migration, trafficking and other illicit activities would be tackled in line with national development goals as contained in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Mr Basheer Mohammed, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, was also present at the meeting.
Mohammed, who was represented by Charles Anaelo, said that the document was a clear demonstration of Nigeria’s commitment to entrench international best practices in border management through a coordinated approach.
He said that effective and efficient border management contributed immensely to overall migration management.
“We have no doubt that implementation will be all inclusive and coordinated to ensure coherence.”
Ms Ukamaka Osigwe, IOM Nigeria National Programme Officer, said that the document was developed through an intensive NIS and inter-agency consultations which spanned from Oct. 2018 to March.
She said that the rationale behind the development of the strategy was to articulate a better border management in Nigeria. NAN