President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to improve surveillance and control around the nation’s borders.
He directed the service to ensure that criminals did not find Nigeria as a safe haven to hide and perpetrate their criminality.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president gave the directive in his speech at the virtual inauguration of the NIS Technology Building.
The statement was titled: ‘President Buhari directs Immigration Service to tighten security around borders, urges security outfits to raise performance.’
The president promised that his regime would give the agencies the needed support for their operations.
He urged NIS to collaborate with international security organisations like INTERPOL in safeguarding the borders.
He said, “As a security agency, I charge you to be relentless in carrying out your statutory duties of keeping our borders safe, while you ensure that criminal elements don’t find Nigeria as a safe haven to hide and perpetrate their criminality.
“I urge you to actively collaborate with international security organisations like the INTERPOL in safeguarding our borders. 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.
“Frontline workers and operators should remember that they are our windows to the world. They must show the best face of Nigeria at all times.”
The President commended the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, for consistently pushing for the completion of the technology building, which will serve as the command and control centre of the NIS, as well as the repository of personal data of Nigerians and expatriates resident in the country.
Buhari added, “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.”
In his remarks, Aregbesola said that all the security challenges facing the country were temporal and surmountable, pointing out 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 would get proper documentation of all entrants and share such with international security structures to ensure tight surveillance and compliance, while announcing a review period of stay from 90 days to 30 days.
He said 50 per cent of all immigration personnel would now work at the country’s borders.
The Comptroller General of NIS, Muhammed Babandede, said the technology building remained the best project the service had ever initiated and completed since it was established in 1958.