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Immigration deploys technology to capture passengers details at five airports

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has deployed Migration Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS) to five international airports in the country to boost security. The NIS…

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has deployed Migration Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS) to five international airports in the country to boost security.

The NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede made this disclosure at the inauguration and installation of MIDAS technology at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja on Tuesday.

MIDAS is a Border Management Information System (BMIS), and it is an IT based solution designed to process and record both biometric details of passenger’s movement.

Babandede said that the technology was to boost border security, which was highly commendable, adding that it would change the way the service does its control at all levels.

“This is a revolution about how our borders would be managed. You may not know that before MIDAS, anyone could just go to the airport with passport, but with the help of MIDAS, we see the validity of the passport.

According to him, the possibility before MIDAS is that people may travel with passport that are genuine and visas that look alike but now, it is not possible because biometric data will match the biometric on the passport.

“MIDAS technology started since 2015. Denmark supported Nigeria through international organisation for migration.

“ Investment had been on the land border but this was done for us to extend the facilities to the five international airports.

“Aminu Kano International Airport has been installed. Murtala Muhammed International airport, Lagos is ongoing and now we have inaugurated the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The rest would be done in two weeks,” he said.

The C-G said that the system would be linked to all wanted persons globally with both the international and local ports.

“This is a revolution. It is not only for NIS. It is for all law enforcement agencies, so we will share with them online whatever information we get, they all also get.

“For instance, if you are able to cheat in an examination and someone is looking for you to prosecute you, we might be able to know.

“Or if you have cheated with your driver’s licence by killing someone on the street and we have your data, we will be able to know if it was you because your bio-metric may match and we will detect it was you who committed murder on the street, ” he said.

The Representative of Royal Kingdom of Denmark, Mr Nicolai Ruge said that it was necessary because the government believes that systems such as MIDAS were central everywhere in the world in order to be able to control the data of the passengers brought on board.

Ruge, who doubled as Ambassador-at-Large migration, added that there was a need for MIDAS since it was a request from the Federal Government and they stepped in immediately to support.

“The Phase II of the project will be discussed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NIS but it will be on the 1st phase supporting these 5 international airport rolling out the MIDAS system in Nigeria.

The Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, commended the efforts of the partners, who had made the MIDAS installation a reality.

Aregbesola said that with this installation and improvement in border control, there was no way a criminal could enter the country or go out without the criminal being identified.

He said that it was important for the security of the people entering and exiting the county, adding that it would also enhance the security of the country at large.

“ We are getting into the level where someone can be rejected even before boarding or entering the airplane. This would help to also check money laundering, human trafficking and every other illegal migration, ” he said.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MIDAS had already been deployed to 14 land borders and two sea ports, and it had greatly enhanced the service ability to harness records of migration flow at the nation’s borders.

Other states where MIDAS have been installed are: Kebbi, three land borders; Sokoto with three land borders; Katsina with three land borders, Cross River, Jigawa, Akwa Ibom, and Ogun land borders. (NAN)