‘Porous Border Setback for Immigration Service’

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Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

The Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Mohammed Babandede at the weekend lamented that porous borders remained the major challenge facing immigration officers in the country’s 140 borders.

Babandede made the remarks while taking delivery of two class room blocks and two boreholes, which Bristow Helicopters donated for the Immigration Training School.

According to him, no country in the world that is not facing border challenges. It is a Herculean task controlling the 140 borders across the federation

He said the numerous porous borders constituted major setback for the immigration officers to control the entire borders across the federation.

He said the recent establishment of Immigration Technology Building by President Muhammadu Buhari was to serve as a data and Command center for Nigeria.

With the new structure, he said the training centre “is an everlasting legacy that will enhance learning and capacity building. The entire concept of border security has been revolutionised. We will be able to patrol based on technology.

“I am glad to say this will change the method of border control, which will no longer be physical. It will be based purely on technology. The duty of Immigration is to ensure the entry and exit of screened people.

“So, we will be able to tell all security agencies of the threat of unwanted persons, like those, who want to enter our premises. That is the revolution. We cannot fight 21st century crime, with an 11th century mindset. We are going to be ahead of the criminals.

“We need to buy more border patrol vehicles. We need to establish more border control posts. We need to have enough vehicles to patrol the country’s border axis. We are using technology to solve the problems, which require heavy investment.”

“I will to say this administration has invested heavily in our borders within the past three years. If only it could be sustained, Nigeria will be safer. You know what the President.

“A safer nation is a country that has effective border control. A safe nation means a safe and secured border. So, that is the challenge this administration is trying its best to resolve the challenge.”

In his keynote address, Bristow Managing Director, Captain Oladapo Oyedipe said the company chose “to assist Immigration. When you are leaving and entering the country, the immigration service is actually the face of Nigeria.

‘’Invariably, they are the last people you will see on your way out and probably the first people you will see on your way in. So, it is important that they are trained to the highest standard that you can find globally.”

“For us, we see this as the way of enhancing that ethos in training schools to develop and bring out the best of the Nigerian Immigration Service, it is an extension of what we do already. So, we are very proud to be part of this history.”

Also speaking, the Commandant of the training school, Mr. Idris Olusegun, thanked Bristow management for building the two class room blocks for the training of cadets at the superintendent level.

According to him, it will, among others, enhance the capacity building of the Immigration Service toward advancing service delivery to the next level.