…Lauds Abuja Management on Continuous Motivation!***
The Controller, Nigerian Immigration Service, Oyo State Command, Comptroller Saleh Azare Abdullahi on Wednesday assured that the command would leave no stones unturned, in the bid to ensure quality service delivery, to both the citizens and foreigners operating within the State.
Comptroller Saleh Azare Abdullahi who gave the assurance during an exclusive chat with the Maritime First in his Office in Ibadan, also expressed satisfaction with the encouraging turn-out of foreigners in the State, for the migrant e-registration exercise, during which 5,269 foreigners were documented.
Highlighting that the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) is often the first major contact the foreigners come in contact with, the Command Controller identified the NIS as quality services provider and a motivating encourager.
“We are service providers”, he stated, highlighting NIS core Statutory mandate to include functions such as Control of entry and exit of persons into and out of Nigeria; issuance of entry visas for Nigerians abroad and implementation of extent visas regime; border patrol and surveillance; manning of Nigerian borders, land, sea and air; procurement, issuance and control of all travel documents, such as passport, ECOWAS Traveling Certificate; inspection of factories and companies to ensure compliance with extant Immigration rules and regulations; collection and storage of data of all foreigners residing, entering and leaving Nigeria; and the determination of the nationality of persons.
He was glad to note the extra mile his officers and men went in a bid to ensure a successful migrants e-registration, describing the exercise as a huge success.
“We launched our migrants’ e- registration in Oyo State on 30th of August, 2019; it was launched by His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State and the attendance was massive.
“In terms of response we had from the foreigners, it was tremendous response, every day, day in- day out, from the day we started this biometric registration. We used to register 80 to 90 foreigners per day; as at now we can even register 100 to 120 per day.
“In fact, we extend our time of closing. We are supposed to close by 4pm, but we close by 6pm. Sometimes, we come to work on Saturdays, so that we can be happy to beat the deadline of the migrant e-registrations.
“We have some constraints: some of them are living in local and inter-land. Oyo sate is made up of 33 local government areas; for example, Saki, Iseyin to Ibadan can take you four to five hours; so the migrants find it difficult for them to come to Ibadan for the migrants’ e-registration, but we have officers in all the 33 local government areas of Oyo State; we call them DIOs , Divisional Immigration Officers.
“They are domiciled in the 33 local government areas of Oyo State, and they used to enlighten them on the importance of migrants e- registration and their attendance is superb!
“As at today, 13th November, 2019, we have so far registered 5,269 migrants; we have irregular and the regular migrants. For irregular migrants, we have so far registered 4,453; the regular migrants stand at 816.
“We have our special way to determine nationality of persons, especially when we talk about Hausa/Fulani of Nigeria and the Hausa/Fulani of Niger; through their intonations, physical appearances, we are able to know them.
“Some of the Nigeriens (Niger) have marks on their shoulders, so if you are in doubt, we can say, ‘remove your sleeve up’, you will see the mark. So, this is not an issue. We can identify them easily”, the Command Boss explained further.
Speaking on the image of the NIS around the borders, Saleh Azare Abdullahi said the officers, being highly motivated are always in tune with ensuring that every foreigner is made to feel at home.
“Well, we have borders at Saki, Okerete, Wasinmi; we have some borders, and our reputation there is very very impressive!
“For any foreigner who wishes to enter Nigeria, the Immigration is the first point of contact of foreigners; either in the airport, sea or land border. We receive them with smiles on our faces, irrespective of gender; you can be a man or a woman, the way we receive you is very encouraging, you feel you are at home, you feel you are in your country and not Nigeria!
“So nobody should be afraid of coming into the country.
“We ensure wonderful relationships in all the borders I have mentioned earlier: Saki, Okerete, Wasinmi. We visited these borders in April this year, to see things for ourselves”, he also said, emphasizing that issuance of International passport is only one of the Services the NIS renders to the community.
“We issue ECOWAS Travelling certificate, it’s like a kind of mini-passport issued to citizens of West African States, but the ETC we issue in Nigeria is meant for Nigerians. You can have access to any West African Country without Visas, with this ETC, you can go to Ghana, Benin republic, Senegal, Gambia, any West Africa country.
“We also have an arm called Anti-human trafficking and child labour unit.
“We also visit companies to ensure that the foreigners operating there fulfill the rules”, he posited further, lauding the Abuja’s NIS Management policy of continuous motivation as being overwhelmingly responsible for improved services delivery.