The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Thursday flagged off electronic registration for non-Nigerian citizens resident in Ekiti state. The security agency stated that the exercise is part of efforts to secure the Nigerian territory and curtail illegal immigrants in the country.
The NIS said the policy, aside making Nigeria free of criminals, would help in getting data base that will help the country in national planning.
State Comptroller of Immigration, Mrs Ifeoma Benedicta Dibia, who spoke during the launch exercise in Ado-Ekiti said the exercise was for all non-Nigerian nationals.
The migrant e-registration exercise was flagged off by Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was represented by the Secretary to State Government, Mr Biodun Oyebanji. He commended the programme as part of the efforts to secure the country’s territory.
The NIS revealed that the exercise will cover all migrants ready to stay in Nigeria for 90 days and above, in line with Regulation 22 of Immigration 2017.
According to the Comptroller, the programme began on July 12, 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, would have direct impact on social , economic and security aspects of the nation.
“It is free regardless of where the migrants came from. It is meant for all non citizens of Nigeria above 18, including ECOWAS, who have resident or intend to stay in the country beyond 90 days in accordance with Regulation 24(1) of Immigration Regulation 2017. Those are minors will be registered under their parents.
“Those that are exempted are; any citizen of Nigeria, persons enjoying diplomatic immunity and immigrant staying in Nigeria for less than 90 days.
“This exercise will enable government to plan for the migrants, help the security architecture of the nation, to build updated and formidable database, as instrument for identification, ensure protection of migrants’ rights, and serve as source of information and intelligence for all security agencies, including International Police (Interpol)”.
The Comptroller said the government had given a six months amnesty to all regular and irregular immigrants in the country, which will lapse early next year, saying this exercise will validate and legalise their stay in the country.
She appealed to traditional rulers to help in sensitizing foreigners in their domains, so that they can be captured in the programme.
“Nigerians is a friendly nation to immigrants, but security is one of the major concerns of our nation. Identity management is very important for the safety of our nation, because it will help to check illegal immigrants.”