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Buhari orders water-tight security around Nigerian borders

By Idowu Abdullahi

As part of strategies aimed at winning against terrorism in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to improve surveillance and control around the nation’s borders.

He indicated that the need to ensure criminal elements don’t find Nigeria as a safe haven to hide and perpetuate their criminality necessitated the need for improved surveillance around the borders.

Aside from increased surveillance around borders, Buhari 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.

While delivering his speech at the virtual Commissioning Ceremony of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Technology Building, the president further urged the NIS to collaborate with International Security Organizations like INTERPOL in safeguarding the borders.

Buhari assured that his administration would provide the much-needed operational support for the security agencies to step up their activities towards achieving a safe border such that would improve the country’s ranking in security index rating.

“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 Organizations 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 commended the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for consistently pushing for the completion of the Technology Building, which would serve as the Command and Control Center of the NIS, as well as the repository of personal data of Nigerians and expatriates resident in Nigeria.

According to him, 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.

In his remarks, Aregbesola assured that the security challenges facing the country were temporal and surmountable, pointing out that the “weakest link’’ had been the land borders and that the newly commissioned building would play a pivotal role in control of illegal migration.

Aregbesola noted that the Visa-on-Arrival policy of the Federal Government 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.

He said 50 percent of all immigration personnel would now work at the borders of the country.

The Comptroller General of NIS, Muhammed Babandede, said the building remains the best project the service had ever initiated and completed since it was established in 1958.

He said that the deployment of technology from the control room would optimize intelligence, ensure that no passport lost, stolen, or re-issued can be presented in any part of the world.

According to Babandede, the initiative would enhance synchronization and virtual sharing of information with other security outfits, both local and international.

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