FG tasks NIS to ensure strict border security
Orders Issuance Of Passport Within 48 Hours
The Federal Government has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure strict compliance of the Border Management Strategy that was unveiled yesterday, as part of efforts to ensure border safety and security.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, gave the directives when he declared open the Comptroller General Management Retreat 2019 and launching of Border Management Strategy Document in Lagos.
According to the Minister, the retreat was organised for the management cadre officers to brainstorm and fashion out means of implementing the reforms being carried out by the Service in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s focus, which is Security, Economy and Transparency (SET).
He said the retreat would provide the major input in the development of several strategic document of the NIS to cover 2019 to 2023, adding that the officers and men of the Service must act as moral agents and in the best interest of the country, as it is only then that the efficient Border Security Management would be achieved.
“The primary role of the Immigration Service is the security of the border and migration management. No unwanted, suspicious and criminal person must be allowed entry into our nation, just as we are to prevent the exit from Nigeria of all known domestic real felons and or domestic potential felons from leaving Nigeria to tarnish our image abroad”, Aregbesola said.
The Minister further observed that technology and transparency remain paramount for efficient and effective border security management, especially in the contemporary situation where crime and criminality has assumed its complex status.
“All officers of the Service must as a matter of urgency, embrace the digital tradition and be technology/computer compliant, particularly at the senior and management level. Our officers must shun all forms of corruption through openness and transparency in the discharge of their duties”, the Minister added.
He called on participants at the Retreat to debate and agree on the model and period it must take for a Nigerian to apply for and obtain the international passport anywhere in the world as swiftly as possible within the minimum human contact.
“Should there be justifiable delay in delivering on this commitment, there must be a mechanism to communicate, such reason(s) within a period as agreed in the retreat to such applicant for the passport, which must not be later than 72 hours, after discovering such reason”, he stated
The Minister also emphasised that with technology, the NIS can and must eliminate the tradition of endless wait for obtaining the Nigerian Passport by Nigerians desirous of having one.
“With technology, it is possible to process and obtain the passport within 48 hours, if the application does not have any issues. Nigerian passport should be available within 48 hours maximum after application and at the official fee, the same goes for entry visa, resident permit, seamen license, as well as application and processing of other services”, he said.
Speaking further, Aregbesola said, it is important for the Service to develop a separate route for special people in our border stations particularly at the arrival halls of international airports to prevent the prevalent ugly and embarrassing incidents of people jumping the queue at the immigration desks.
“Our service must focus on supporting the Federal Government’s drive on ease of doing business. On the flipside, no one should be allowed into Nigeria who should not be within our borders.
“I must let you know that the security architecture of the nation is built on the network of individuals like you. Don’t ever think that one person is inconsequential. Every person in the immigration service is important. The whole is the sum of the part. If one part is taken away, it cannot be whole again”, he said.
While commending the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede for his efficiency and pro-activeness to border issues, he reminded the officers and men of the Service to see themselves as the face of Nigeria and the pride of the Ministry.
Earlier in his address, the Comptroller-General, Babandede, assured that the Service will key into the SET policy of the President Buhari-led administration through efficient border security management so as to improve internal security, rejuvenate the economy and entrench transparency in the System.