The Federal Government has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to live up to their core mandate of border surveillance and control, insisting that no foreign bodies bent on manipulating the 2023 elections should be allowed passage into the country.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said this in Katsina on Tuesday, during the Commissioning of the Katsina State Command Office of the Nigeria Immigration Service and Roll-Out of the Enhanced ePassport in the State.
The Minister reiterated that the primary assignment of the Nigeria Immigration Service is border control and not passport issuance.
Aregbesola said President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that Nigerian borders should be made impenetrable to foreign bodies who might want to come in and manipulate the election process or engage in other nefarious activities.
He said: “The order from President Muhammadu Buhari is that between now and the time that we conclude all the elections, please make our borders impregnable. They should still remain impregnable, even after the elections.
“We don’t want a situation whereby those who are not qualified to vote in Nigeria will come into our nation to illegally participate in the process.”
The Minister while highlighting ‘Migration management’ as another primary responsibility of the Nigeria Immigration Service, said: “Nigeria Immigration Service must ensure that migrants are effectively regulated and documented, as passport issuance is complimentary.”
He further disclosed that the nation’s borders will soon be covered using the latest technology for surveillance, as electronic digital technology will be deployed to ensure constant and effective coverage of borders.
“We are deploying electronic digital technology to ensure 24/7 inch by inch surveillance of the 4,500 kilometres borderline from the eastern part to the western part including coastlines. This is one of the several achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said while adding that “Katsina has 14 border positions manned by Immigration Personnel with about 400km borderline, and the people of Katsina must be confident of our readiness to protect these border positions.”
On his part, the Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Aminu Masari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Katsina State Government, Alhaji Muntari Lawal, commended the effort of the Nigeria Immigration Service in curbing the menace of insecurity, and playing a major role in fighting banditry.
The SSG commended the Ministry of Interior for the feat achieved in successfully establishing a state Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service in Katsina.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Isah Idris; and other senior management officials of the service and other agencies under the Ministry of Interior, paid a courtesy visit to the governor at his office where other matters of critical national importance were discussed.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja