Nigeria Immigration Service Places Embargo On Capturing, Issuance Of Passports

A file photo of the head office of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service has placed an embargo on capturing and issuance of passports to applicants from today May 18th till the end of May 2021.

The Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede made the announcement on Tuesday during a press briefing in Abuja.

He said the decision is to enable the service to clear its backlog, noting that it will no longer collect fresh applications until the backlogs are cleared.

This means that all passports in control offices are closed for applicants from today till May 31st and payments for passports will be online when the portal is opened which will be June.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola had earlier given a six weeks timeline for passport collection.

He said this will be six weeks which is meant to allow for enough time to investigate, verify and validate personal information supplied by the applicants.

[READ ALSO] Passport Racketeering: Immigration Officers To Wear Body Cam, Says Aregbesola

“What we are driving at is the peace of mind that comes from the assurance of certainty. If there are circumstances that will make the date to change, it will be communicated to the applicant one week before the collection date”.

He noted that applicants will have no basis for further communication with officers, other than to complete their application process and leave the venue. The date for the collection of their passports or any challenge to the application will be communicated to them.

“The technology for the efficient running of this system has been acquired and will be deployed.

“We are publishing on our website the list of the backlog of passports that are ready which are yet to be collected by the owners. They will be required to go to the state commands to collect them.

“With these changes, it is my firm belief that we will arrive at a new dawn in passport application processing”, the minister added.

Below is the breakdown of the current backlog

Local: 71, 644

Enhanced: 46,814

Foreign : 17,906

Nigeria Immigration Commences Investigation Into Cause Of Fire Outbreak

Scenes of the fire outbreak at Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters, Abuja.

 

The technical team of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has commenced an investigation into the cause of the fire outbreak at its headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The fire outbreak which occurred on Sunday affected three sections of the headquarters building.

The Comptroller General of NIS, Muhammad Babandede while speaking with journalists in Abuja on Monday listed the affected sections to include the Call Center where about 10,000 calls are received, within and outside Nigeria on passport and visa matters.

Also affected is the Interpol Connectivity where the Service says they have lost connectivity with the airport and 24 locations and the Migration Information and data analysis system.

Babandede added that hard disks have been retrieved by the ICT team.

READ ALSO: Former Military Administrator Aminu Kontagora Dies Of COVID-19

The Immigration boss assured Nigerians that the setback would not affect their services as they are working to ensure connectivity, would be restored in about four days.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior and Representative of the Minister, Shuaib Belgore in his address said all the systems are backed up, and no data was lost.

He said he is delighted at the prompt response that was given to the incident, and all hands are on deck to ensure transparency in the investigation process.

The Nigeria Immigration Service on Sunday announced via its Twitter handle that a fire incident occurred at the Service Headquarters in the morning.

The fire was put out by our Federal Fire Station and support from other agencies around the Airport.

NIS Recruitment Scam: Nepotism, Lopsidedness Derailed Exercise – Moro Tells Court

Abba Moro

 

Former Minister of Interior, Abba Patrick Moro, on Thursday, December 3, 2020, began his defense before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, stating in his testimony that the March 17, 2014 recruitment exercise of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) was marred by controversies, nepotism, job racketeering, and lopsidedness.

These biases Mr Moro argued derailed the exercise even before he was appointed Minister of Interior.

“The recruitment was marred with controversies, accusations, nepotism, job racketeering, and lopsidedness. The controversies had derailed recruitment exercise even before I became the Minister of Interior,” he stated.

Moro entered his defense on counts two, four, five, and 11 out of the 11- count charges preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, given that the rest of the charges were dismissed in his “no-case submission.”

Testifying as first defense witness (DW1), and led by his counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN, he said the Ministry of Interior, sometime in December 2012 received a waiver from the Office of the Head of Service for the recruitment of 4556 (Four Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty-six) officers, which he directed be to recruited accordingly.

He said he had to cancel the initial exercise with assurance to the country that he was going to enthrone a cost-effective and modern method of recruitment, which he said saw to a proposal from a technology company for an e-recruitment platform.

He said the e-recruitment platform was adopted and forwarded to the procurement department for vetting and approval and the Ministerial Tenders Board, which approved Drexel Technological Ltd for the project for a period of five years and forwarded to his office for his endorsement.

Moro told the court he was not a member of the Ministerial Tenders’ Board and did not influence the award to Drexel Ltd. He also denied inviting any company for the bidding exercise.

He, therefore, wondered why he was standing trial for procurement fraud when he was not part of his ministry’s procurement department.

“I am not a member of the procurement department and I couldn’t have influenced anybody and therefore did not commit any fraud,” he said.

Moro also told the court that he could not have caused the stampede that claimed the lives of applicants in the recruitment exercise, because the recruitment process, according to him, started in 2012 and was eventually carried out in 2014.

Moro is facing trial alongside Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a former permanent secretary in the ministry; F.O. Alayebami, a deputy director in the ministry, Mahmood Ahmadu, currently at large, and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, a firm involved in the ill-fated recruitment exercise, for money laundering, abuse of office, procurement fraud and fraud against Nigerian applicants to the tune of N675, 675,000 (Six Hundred and Seventy-five Million, Six Hundred and Seventy- five Thousand Naira only).

Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter till February 23, 24, and 25, 2021, for Moro’s cross-examination and continuation of trial.

Nigeria Uploads 150,000 Stolen, Lost Travel Documents To INTERPOL System

A file photo of data capturing exercise by the Nigeria Immigration Service in Abuja.

 

The Federal Government on Monday said it has uploaded about 150,000 stolen and lost travel documents to the INTERPOL Global System (IPSG) in Lyon, France.

This makes Nigeria the first African country and 54th in the world to achieve this exercise.

A statement by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), said that the exercise was carried out by the INTERPOL i-24/7 Desk, a major system supporting arm, manned by Officers of the NIS in Abuja.

The statement was signed by the Service spokesman, Mr Sunday James, on Tuesday.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service INTERPOL i-24/7 Desk a major INTERPOL system supporting  Arm, manned by Officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service at the unit in the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters, Abuja has successfully uploaded about 150,000 Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (STLD) to INTERPOL Global System (IPSG) in Lyon, France seamlessly and successfully.

“This integration according to INTERPOL Police Global System (IPSG) is the first in Africa and 54th in the World; by implication, this feat has enabled Nigeria to upload all SLTD to IPSG-Lyon, France through a secure channel,” the statement read in part.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Buhari, Osinbajo Attend Day 2 Of Ministerial Performance Review Retreat

The NIS spokesman added that the success was achieved with support from the IPSG, United States National Central Bureau (USNCB) Washington, National Central Bureau (NCB) Abuja, and the NIS team.

He said that the Comptroller General, NIS, Mr. Muhammad Babandede has been updated on the development by the team.

“The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service Muhammad Babandede MFR was updated in a brief on this development by the team in view of the report received of the success so far recorded and placement of Nigeria as the first (1st) in Africa and 54th in the world by the Interpol Global system Index, confirming the successful integration and uploading of such quantity of Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) among member nations on the Interpol Global System (IPSG).

Mr James maintained that the Nigerian SLTD detection and tracking system domiciled at the NIS Headquarters has successfully yielded results and worth appreciating by Nigerians and the global Community.

He stated that the move by the NIS will reduce the attempts and deliberate acts of identity theft, frauds, and other organised crimes perpetrated globally using Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD).

Nigeria Immigration Tightens Measures To Curb Cross-Border Diseases

 

The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Muhammad Babandede has directed all heads of formations at border points to heighten sensitisation of their operatives.

Babandede in his directive urged the border officers to reduce body contacts and wear protective during their operations.

According to him, these preventive practices will help in guarding against any infection in their daily duties at the airport, seaport and land borders.

READ ALSO: I Wonder How Boko Haram Survived Up Till This Time – Buhari

This was revealed in a statement signed on Thursday by Sunday James, the spokesperson, for Comptroller General of Immigration Service

In response to this, the Comptroller of NIS in Ogun State, Doris Braimah commenced awareness to officers at the Idiroko Border Control Post.

While speaking during the sensitisation, the Ogun Comptroller, told the officers not to be careless while managing cases related to cough, fever or breathing difficulties.

According to her, they should adopt preventive measures while in contact with migrants who cross the borders, citing usage of hand sanitizers, covering their nose with face-mask, among others, as part of pro-active measures to curb cross-border disease.

She equally urged them to liaise with health officials at the border to stop diseases from entering the country, reminding the officers that the Idiroko Border Post is one of the most important exit and entry point in the West African nation.

Six Illegal Migrants Arrested In Ogun

A photo combination of the Comptroller of Immigration, Ogun Command, Mrs Doris Braimah and the arrested suspects.

 

Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service on Tuesday arrested six illegal migrants who were being smuggled by some Nigerians through Idiroko borders.

The two suspects who smuggled the migrants are reported to have been on the watch list of security agencies in Ogun State for trafficking of migrants into the country.

READ ALSO: Child Trafficking: Kano Govt Promises To Commence Investigation, Ensure Justice For Victims

The comptroller of immigration, Mrs Doris Braimah who paraded the suspects at the office of the service in Abeokuta, the state capital, says the illegal migrants include four Mali indigenes and two Guineans.

“When you aid unknown people into your country, without even knowing their aim, it is a big risk. It is actually called security threat,” Braimah said while parading the suspected.

She explained that the two suspects would be arraigned, while the six foreign nationals would be repatriated to their countries.

Immigration Vows To Deport Unregistered Visitors From Nigeria After Amnesty

(FILE) Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammed Babandede, speaks during an interview with Channels Television.

 

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has warned visitors staying in the country to take advantage of the e-migrant policy to register their status.

According to it, the Federal Government will not hesitate to kick out anyone found culpable after the amnesty granted by the President ends in January 2020.

The Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme.

“Any person who is not a citizen of Nigeria must register under the amnesty programme,” he said on Monday via Skype on Sunrise Daily.

The Immigration boss warned, “After the amnesty programme, any person who enters this territory and stays for a period of 90 days, there is a penalty for him for not registering and there is a penalty for the person who provides accommodation for him.”

“Before you provide accommodation for a non-Nigerian, you must ensure he or she has registered.

“This amnesty, once it ends, will also remove and arrest any person who has not registered. So we are prepared to remove any person who has not registered from this country after the amnesty,” he added.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest 25 Suspected Cultists In Lagos

According to him, President Muhammadu saw the significance of having correct data of citizens and visitors in the country.

He explained that having correct data and knowing those staying in Nigeria would help the government in making good policies to improve the nation’s economy and tackle its security challenges among others.

“That’s why he (Buhari) gave an amnesty when he launched the e-Migrant Policy on the 12th of July and will expire on the 11th of January, 2020,” the NIS Comptroller-General noted.

He added, “This registration has started and was flagged off in Abuja and surprisingly, almost 35% of those who registered were staying irregularly. So when they register, we direct them to become normal if they are qualified to become normalised.

“All persons are expected to register if they enter Nigeria and stay for a period exceeding 90 days. It is biometric and we are also capturing the picture of the said individual.

“We are linking the registration with NIMC gradually which means one identity for Nigerian, one identity for our visitors.”

The Immigration boss stated that the Service would partner with other law enforcement agencies to remove unregistered persons by the end of the programme next year.

According to him, what Nigerians are doing abroad is connected with identity issue and every person staying in Nigeria will have one identification number.

Immigration To Issue Adult Passports With 10-Year Validity

Immigration To Issue Adult Passports With 10-Year Validity

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced plans to increase the validity of passports issued to adults from five to 10 years.

Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Mohammed Babandede, disclosed this to reporters on Thursday at the Passport Office in Ikoyi area of Lagos State.

“The idea is to reform the old passport booklet, the booklet will change. 10-year validity will reduce the burden on applicants and on the system,” he said.

Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammed Babandede, speaking to reporters at the Ikoyi Passport Office in Lagos on July 2

 

Babandede explained that this was part of reforms by the Service towards improving the process of issuing passports to Nigerians.

He was also confident that the issuance of the new passport, which would commence before the end of the year, would reduce the burden on Nigerians to acquire passports every five years.

“We strongly believe that this will help Nigeria, this will make our customers happy, and we will ensure it is done before the end of this year because the booklet has to change,” the Immigration boss said.

Anambra Trains 160 Immigration Officers In ICT

Photo: immigration.gov.ng

One hundred and sixty officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Anambra State Command, have participated in a continuous Capacity Building Training on Information Communication Technology (ICT) organised by the command in Awka.

According to the State Immigration Comptroller, Mr Ekpedeme King, the programme became necessary after a careful evaluation of the urgency to cut into the Presidential Executive Order on the ease of doing business in Nigeria with a follow up order by the Comptroller General of Immigration that all officers must have the requisite competence to efficiently deliver services to end users of the Immigration facilities within the time frame as stipulated in the Presidential mandate.

He disclosed that ICT will play a vital role in data collection, storage, analysis and in control and monitoring of migrants but most importantly will eliminate bureaucratic delays that have been detrimental to prompt action and efficient service delivery in NIS.

“The Comptroller General has insisted that all officers must improve their ICT skills because it is with this competence that we can deliver service. With the administration of service, we have now in Abuja, we will definitely continue to see a difference in Immigration Service, a Service that is oriented, and a Service that is determined to meet the expectations of Nigerians.”

The Secretary to the State Government represented by the Permanent Secretary to the Office of the SSG, Mr Dan Ezeanwu, who flags off the training programme urges the participants to see the training as an overall strategic plan to completely overhaul the service and ensure institutional relevance and excellence.

Immigration Clamps Down On Illegal Settlers

Immigration Clamps Down On Illegal SettlersThe Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service says it is commencing raids on illegal immigrants across border towns in the state.

The State Area Controller of Immigration, Mr Ajibola Bayeroju, said the step becomes imperative in view of involvement of illegal immigrants in criminal activities across the state which has been on the increase in recent times.

He said activities of illegal immigrants were responsible for many armed robbery incidents experienced in the state in southwest Nigeria.

Mr Bayeroju made the remarks while parading three suspected illegal immigrants from Benin Republic arrested in Ayetoro area of the state for an alleged armed robbery.

He said permission for the raid on illegal immigrants has been obtained from the authorities of the Service.

“We are trying to raid them all over the state; that is what we are trying to do.

“A lot of them are here illegally. We are seriously working on that.

“They are all from the Republic of Benin, they are non-Nigerians, they come to Nigeria to rob.

“We are trying to make Nigeria a safe country because of the security situation in the country.

“I am now calling for more synergy with other sister security agencies.

“After leaving this place, they are going to be handed over to the police for prosecution,” he said.

Items recovered from the suspects include a cut to size short gun among others.

One of the suspects, who denied any wrongdoing, said the gun found on him was being used as a member of a vigilante group from the area.

Nigeria Eases Immigration Processes To Boost Economy

Lai Mohammed, Visa Processes, Immigration Processes, NigeriaThe Federal Government has reviewed the visa processes for foreigners who wish to visit Nigeria for business and tourism purposes.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, explained in a statement that the review was aimed at removing bureaucratic bottlenecks and encouraging business travellers and tourists.

He said the measures were part of the government’s action plan for the ease of doing business, and efforts to boost tourism and the economy.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has reviewed the requirements for Nigerian visas to make them more customer friendly, and details of this review are available on the NIS official website, www.immigration.gov.ng.

“Types of visas currently reviewed include Visa on Arrival (VoA) processes, Business Visas, Tourist Visas and Transit Visas,” the minister said.

Mr Mohammed hinted that business visas are available for foreign travellers who wish to travel to Nigeria for meetings, conferences, seminars, contract negotiation, marketing, sales, purchase and distribution of Nigerian goods, trade fairs, job interviews, training of Nigerians, emergency/relief work, crew members, staff of NGOs, Staff of INGOs, researchers and musical concerts.

He added that tourist visas are also available to foreign travellers who wish to visit Nigeria for the purpose of tourism, or to visit family and friends while Nigeria Visa on Arrival is a class of short visit visa issued at the port of entry.

The minister noted that the visa is available to frequently-travelled High-Net-Worth Investors and intending visitors who may not be able to obtain visa at the Nigerian Missions/Embassies in their countries of residence, due to the absence of a Nigerian mission in those countries or exigencies of urgent business travels.

He noted that other actions taken by the Immigration Service include the harmonisation of multiplicity of Airport Arrival and Departure Form/Cards into a single form for all agencies of government to save foreign visitors from the current frustrating practice of filling three different forms or more, and the decentralisation of services to the State Commands.

“Reissuance of passports for change of names due to marital reasons or lost cases have been decentralised to all State Commands and Foreign Missions to save passport holders from additional costs and inconvenience of travelling to the Service Headquarters in Abuja.

“Additional 28 offices have been opened for issuance of Residence Permits in Nigeria, bringing the issuance of Combined Expatriate Residence Permit And Aliens Cards (CERPAC) closer to the doorstep of employers of expatriates at all 36 states and FCT,” the Information Minister said.

He stated that the measures taken by NIS fit perfectly into the 60-day national action plan for ease of doing business in Nigeria which he said was recently approved by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), as well as the Federal Government’s efforts to boost international tourism.

Senate Screens Ambassadorial Nominees

Senate Screens Ambassadorial Nominees The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs has begun the screening of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

This comes at a time when officials from government ministries, departments and agencies have also been visiting the parliament for meetings and budget defence.

The chairman of the Senate committee, Senator Monsurat Sumonu, said that the lawmakers would ensure that they properly screen the nominees to make sure that the best represent Nigeria in foreign missions.

Fielding questions from lawmakers, the nominee representing Zamfara state, Garba Muhammed, advocated a reform in the country’s foreign policy.

President Buhari on January 12 resubmitted a list of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees to the Senate for confirmation.

Also, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service was at the Senate on Tuesday to defend his agency’s 2017 budget.

But lawmakers raised several concerns in the Immigration budget.

A non-government organisation called Budgit has prepared a document for the National Assembly outlining 590 suspicious and frivolous line items in the 2017 budget.

The National Assembly committees are expected to scrutinize the allocations in the budget to ensure transparency in the appropriation of scarce funds to government agencies.