Shake-up looms as new CG moves to reform Immigration

immigrationCOMPTROLLER General (CG) of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Martin Abeshi, has hinted of reforms to reinvent the organisation as “Citizen Inclusive Immigration Service”.

At his maiden meeting with all heads of commands and formations at the service headquarters in Abuja, he said his intention was to standardise, reinvigorate and instill discipline in the system.

The Guardian gathered that the CG may soon redeploy officers and compulsorily retire others, especially those connected to the last recruitment that led to the eventually led to the unseating of his predecessor, David Parradang.

A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by spokesperson of the service, Chukwuemeka Obua, said the reforms would encapsulate “deepening of internal control/monitoring, border security and patrol as well as robust engagement with critical stakeholders of the Service with the purpose of evolving a “Citizen Inclusive Immigration Service”.

Abeshi told the gathering that was attended by five Deputy Comptrollers General, 29 Assistant Comptrollers General and 56 Comptrollers that “NIS under his leadership would intensify efforts at addressing the disturbing rate of human trafficking in the country,” directing all heads to put machinery on ground in their various formations to stop the ignoble practice.”

The statement noted that the CG informed that “the NIS in partnership with Messrs CONTEC (NIS technical partner on the CERPAC Green card project), would soon introduce the e-pass project under the Trusted Travellers Scheme (TTS).

“When the project takes off, all non-ECOWAS visitors to Nigeria and who intend to stay in excess of 56 days would be required to register and pay a fee equivalent of $200 while those who overstay their visitors’ passes in excess of between 90 and 180 days would pay a penalty of an equivalent of $1000. Those who overstay in excess of 180 days would be required to pay a penalty of equivalent of $2000”.

He condemned the spate of extortion by personnel of the service, especially at passport and visa counter, as well as other departments, where it is a norm for all people seeking for service to bribe their way through. He said: “Cases of sharp practices such as extortion, touting and general staff indiscipline would be frontally checked”.

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  • Margarita Cruz