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‘Porous Border Due To Poor Management’ Immigration Admits Incompetent

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The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) on Sunday admitted that  the porous state of the nation’s borders was partly due to poor management.

The service, however, said the Federal Government had  commenced processes to enhance national security and protect Nigerian businesses through improved regulation of border entries.

It added that henceforth,  foreigners would no longer be allowed to engage in business strictly meant for Nigerians.  NIS mentioned retailing as one such business.

NIS Controller-General Mohammed Babandede said this after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja at the weekend.

Babandede, who also disclosed that Buhari gave the service additional tasks, said: ”Everyone knows there is a security threat in the country and our borders are contributing to insecurity. More especially,  our borders with Niger, Benin, and Cameroun. It has become imperative to man our borders more effectively.”The NIS boss did not name the additional tasks but he gave assurance that the service would improve on the vetting of immigrants to ensure they did not engage in illegal activities.

He said: “The involvement of foreigners in retail business is even the biggest issue. Last Monday, I raised this issue in Kano where they are into retail business in textile shops and other businesses.

“We need to be more patriotic, a situation where citizens give protection to Chinese  and other foreigners  and allow them into retail businesses is a crime, a serious one for that matter.”

Babandede explained  that he  briefed the  President  on what NIS  was doing”  but got  “additional responsibilities on what we can do to make this country safer  and better.”

The NIS chief added  that  ”Nigerians should be happier that the borders will be safer now than before” as  efforts would  be made to  prevent “counter-crossing across our borders” and all foreigners residing in Nigeria monitored.

He said:  ”As you are aware, each person enters Nigeria with a condition, whether to do a business or to establish a business but not to take the business of Nigerians.

”Mr. President has tasked us to make sure we look at this issue deeply to make sure that Nigerian labour is protected, Nigerian economy is protected and not taken away by foreigners who just come to do business and take away the money and not to invest.

”Mr. President tasked us further. I may not be able to reveal those tasks, but we’ll do our best to keep Nigeria safer through effective border  management and control.”

Asked how the new charge from the President would affect existing Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocols, Babandede observed that there are terms and conditions to the protocols.

His words: “We have already notified our officers that every member of the ECOWAS must register after staying in the country for 80 days. ECOWAS protocols stipulate that you must follow proper routes and you must register and must have valid passport. it is not about unregulated movement.

“We have prosecuted so many people, jailing them two and three years on illegal ECOWAS movement.”

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