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FG Kick Starts Registration Of Migrants, To Sanction Defaulters

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As part of activities to checkmate the activities of Boko Haram insurgents in the country, the federal government said it has concluded plans to commence free registration of migrants residing in the country.

This is even as it has instructed foreigners who have resided in the country for over 90 days to make themselves available for documentation at the various offices of the Service  or face appropriate sanction.

The Comptroller General of Immigration (CGI), Muhammad Babandede, who explained that all information would be automatically linked to MIDAS said the documentation will include collection of migrants’ biometrics, upon completion of online requirements.

Babandede who made the disclosure  at the official inauguration of a training centre for officers, launch of the NIS’ curriculum, and the commissioning of a petrol station, also announced an incentive for migrants who comply.

The NIS boss who explained that the exercise would be done electronically said, “ People are not expected physically. It is web-based.

“You will register online. But, before we take your biometrics, you will complete and upload all the documents. By the time you come to the Immigration office, we will just take your biometrics, capture your photograph, and allow you to go”.

According to him: “It is intended for anybody, who is not a citizen of Nigeria, who has entered our territory, stayed for a period exceeding ninety days; it is mandatory for that person, and also mandatory for the person who provided the accommodation (house, hotel or farm), to ensure that that person is registered.”

He described the training centres as the service’s shift to international standard, noting that officers had stayed over 20 years without being trained.

He promised that the well-equipped training centres would be replicated nationwide for effective service delivery.

He stated that the minister of Interior is expected to engage governors on the policy direction, since those targeted live in states.

“Approval has been given by Mr. President . And we feel  it is not just enough to start inviting migrants to register until we prepare our staff  and  get up to date equipment and sensitise the public. As at now, we have been able to get equipment, training centre, offices and even trained officers who can handle the software,” he added.

The Immigration CG expressed deepest appreciation to the government of Netherlands, Switzerland and GIZ.

In his remark, Chief of Missions, international Organisation for Migration (IOM), Frantz Celestine,  who described the Foreigner Registration Pilot Site as a landmark achievement and the first of its kind in West Africa appealed to the service to use the site judiciously.

He said, they were pleased to fully support NIS’ to improve the use of information  technology  and create controlled environment for fully electronic, standardised and automatic registration of biographic and biometric data of foreigners and ECOWAS nationals in Nigeria.

Earlier, Netherlands ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Ceciel Groot described the inauguration of the centre as a step in the right direction and pledged $1.33m on behalf of her country in support of the project.

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