Buhari directs Immigration to tighten surveillance, control around Nigeria’s borders
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to improve surveillance and control around the nation’s borders.
Giving his speech at the virtual commissioning ceremony of the NIS Technology Building on Thursday in Abuja, he urged the NIS to collaborate with international security organisations such as INTERPOL in safeguarding the borders.
The President asked the service to ensure that criminal elements do not find Nigeria as a safe haven to hide and perpetrate their criminality.
He also instructed all security agencies to raise their performance in protecting lives and property, with a mandate that the nation’s Global Security Index must be improved.
“It is imperative that our ranking in the Global Security Index improves and I am using this medium to call on all security agencies to step up their activities towards achieving this goal.
“I assure you that the administration will give the much-needed support to you in your operations,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
He added, “As a security agency, I charge you to be relentless in carrying out your statutory duties of keeping our borders safe … remember that a safe border is a prerequisite for a safe nation.
“You must develop strong working relationships and ties with the international community and friendly nations as it relates to migration management; adopt and implement workable strategies from them while also sharing your best practices.”
President Buhari asked frontline workers and operators to see themselves as the nation’s windows to the world and must always show the best face of Nigeria.
He commended the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, for consistently pushing for the completion of the Technology Building, which would serve as the Command and Control Centre of the NIS, as well as the repository of personal data of Nigerians and foreigners resident in Nigeria.
“This is in line with the vision of our administration to formulate and implement policies that will protect and enhance the lives and standards of living for Nigerians.
“This administration is relentless in its avowed desire to create an enabling business environment that will usher in an economic boom for Nigerians and all those who do business with and in Nigeria,” the President said.
He also congratulated all officers and men of the NIS for their dedication and work towards changing into a ‘world-class migration management agency’.
In his remarks, Aregbesola gave an assurance that the security challenges in the country were temporal and surmountable.
He acknowledged that the “weakest link” had been the land borders and the Technology Building would play a pivotal role in the control of illegal migration.
The minister noted that the Visa-on-Arrival policy of the Federal Government has proper documentation of all entrants to ensure tight surveillance and compliance while announcing a review period of stay from 90 days to 30 days.
He said 50 percent of all immigration personnel would now work at the borders of the country.
On his part, the NIS Comptroller General of NIS, Muhammed Babandede, said the Technology Building remained the best project the service has ever initiated and completed since it was established in 1958.
He said the deployment of technology from the Control Room would optimise intelligence, ensure that no passport lost, stolen, or re-issued could be presented in any part of the world, as well as enhance synchronisation and virtual sharing of information with other security outfits, both local and international.
Aregbesola and Babandede thanked President Buhari for approving the project in 2018 and following up with the completion of all phases of the facility.