2019 Elections: NIS to Secure Borders- Communique
The 2018 Comptroller-General Annual Conference with the theme: “Enhanced Border Security and Controlled Irregular Migration: A Panacea for Internal Security Challenges” and attended by very senior serving and retired officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) as well as relevant stakeholders was held between Monday, 12h – Wednesday, 14h November, 2018 at Maiduguri, Borno State.
2. In his welcome address, the Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede, MFR thanked the government and good people of Borno State for accepting to host the Conference while reiterating that the choice of Borno is strategic and that, Border Security which is the fulcrum of the Conference should be seen as everybody’s business.
3. Delivering the keynote address, the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. (rtd) Abdurahman Bello Dambazau PhD CFR represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Bello Umar Tambuwal enjoined the management of the NIS to use the opportunity of the Conference to cross fertilize ideas with a view to coming out with ways to tackling Border Security challenges.
4. The Conference was declared open by His Excellency, Alhaji. Kashim Shettima, Executive Governor of Borno State who appreciated the management of the NIS for the choice of Borno State as Venue for the 2018 Conference. He also enjoined the NIS and indeed other stakeholders to sustain the collective fight against trans-border criminal activities. The event provided a veritable platform for senior Officers of the NIS and relevant stakeholders to critically appraise the role of the Service in the Border Security architecture of the nation with a view to fashioning out strategies for a more effective and efficient Border Management regime.
5. The event which was held in Plenary Sessions and Syndicate Groups made the following observations:
a. That the choice of Borno State as venue of the 2018 Conference is very strategic to border management and goes to affirm that peace is gradually returning to the State.
b. The critical role of Border Communities in Border Security management and the need for mainstreaming other relevant stakeholders.
c. The need to strike a balance between Border Security and facilitation without compromising national security.
d. The role of NIS in the enforcement of ECOWAS Protocols on Free Movement of Persons and transhumance across borderlines.
e. That changes in attitudes, improved skills, commitment, patriotism and the fight against corruption on the part of Border Officials as well as inter-agency synergy are necessary for achieving border security strategies.
After exhaustive deliberations on the various paper presentations and exchange of views among the participants, the Conference resolved that:
(i) Within the framework of its statutory mandate, the NIS is committed to supporting the Government in making the Borders safe and secure to ensure the success of the forthcoming 2019 General Elections;
(ii) The NIS will establish Information Centres at Border Communities as a deliberate and constructive engagement strategy while also impressing on Governments at all levels as well as the organized private sector to develop border communities to mitigate trans-national criminal activities;
(iii) To enhance effective border control and management, the current efforts at automating our border control operations, particularly the biometric visa regime would be vigorously pursued to cover all strategic borders;
(iv) The NIS will intensify efforts to fully understand its role with a view to enforcing the ECOWAS Protocols on Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance and also ensure that it constantly strikes a balance between border security and facilitation;
(v) NIS will fully comply with the Presidential Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business and transparency in processes and procedures.
Consequent upon the above, the Conference reasoned and believed that there is no better time than now to begin to come up with strategic approaches to contend with the myriad of challenges currently posed by migratory realities. The Nigeria Immigration Service is therefore, resolved to embark on robust technological upgrade, inter-agency and international synergy, capacity building and improved interfaces with all strategic stakeholders, especially members of border communities to enhance border security and improved service delivery. The NIS management and other Conference participants sincerely appreciate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR as well as the Honourable Minister of Interior for their enormous support towards repositioning the NIS to further deliver on its mandate. The hospitality and kind assistance of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Borno State as well as the good people of the State are also commendable for making the 2018 Conference a huge success.
DCI Sunday James