President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to improve surveillance and control around the nation’s borders.
President Buhari, who gave the order Thursday at the virtual Commissioning Ceremony of the NIS Technology Building in Abuja, also directed the NIS to “ensure that criminal elements don’t find Nigeria as a safe haven to hide and perpetrate their criminality.’’
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The President also instructed all security agencies to raise their performance in protecting lives and property, with a mandate that the country’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,’’ he said.
The President urged the NIS to collaborate with international security organisations like INTERPOL in safeguarding the borders.
“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 added.
The President lauded the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni 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 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 economic boom for Nigerians and all those who do business with and in Nigeria,’’ he said.
‘Technology building to the rescue’
In his remarks, the Minister of Interior, who assured that the security challenges facing the country were temporal and surmountable, said the “weakest link’’ had been the land borders and the technology building will play a pivotal role in control of illegal migration.
The minister said the newly commissioned building would also help the efforts to address security threats being faced at the country’s land borders.
He said the federal government was doing everything possible to tackle security challenges in the nation’s land borders, waterways, and airports.
He said 50 per cent of NIS personnel that would be deployed to the borders would be supported with necessary materials and equipment.
Aregbesola, while speaking on the concern being expressed on the federal government’s Visa-on-Arrival policy, said the scheme “does not in any way compromise or jeopardize our national security”.
He added that the policy gets proper documentation of all entrants and sharing with international security structures to ensure tight surveillance and compliance, while announcing a review period of stay from 90 days to 30 days.