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”Immigration Service grossly underfunded, understaffed”

The Comptroller General of Immigration, Martin Abeshi has said the Service was struggling to perform its responsibilities as a result of numerous challeges it is…

The Comptroller General of Immigration, Martin Abeshi has said the Service was struggling to perform its responsibilities as a result of numerous challeges it is contending with.

Abeshi made this disclosure while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Comptroller General of Immigration’s annual Conference and Stakeholders Interactive Forum in Lafia, Nasarawa State on Thursday.

The Comptroller General noted that more prominent among the challenges were inadequate funding and understaffing.

"Like most government agencies, the NIS is grossly underfunded", he said. "Consequently, we are unable to procure the required patrol vehicles, aircrafts, boats and communication gadgets…as well as modern arms and ammunition."

The Immigration boss also complained that the NIS only has less than 23,000 staff, stressing that "the enormous statutory obligations of the NIS coupled with emerging migration trends and trajectories make this number of personnel obviously grossly inadequate."

He said while only 114 control posts were approved across the country’s land borders, there were another 1400 illegal routes that are not manned.

The Comptroller General therefore, solicited the supports of stakeholders to overcome these challenges.

Abeshi pointed out that an enabling environment and improved budgetary allocation by the federal government will help the Service improve its performance.

While reaffirming the Service’s commitment to continue discharging its responsibilities despite these challenges, he called for sister agencies’ partnership.

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