ALONGE OLANIYI
The Federal Government has directed the new Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Martins Abeshi, to, as a matter of urgency, deploy more personnel in the country’s land, air and water borders.

It also admonished the CG to take decisive measures in addressing corrupt practices, indiscipline and wrong-doings in the service.

Handing down the directive yesterday in Abuja during the official decoration of Abeshi as CG, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Abubakar Magaji, said despite the limited resources, concerted efforts should be made to provide more work tools for the officers and men at the borders.

“It is pertinent to note that the responsibility of border control and prevention of illegal migrants from coming into Nigeria rests squarely on the NIS and any failure in that direction will not be tolerated by the government, so more personnel should be deployed to secure the borders.

“Other issues that should also be addressed immediately include the alleged excess charges for Nigeria’s standard passports, indiscriminate issuance of official and diplomatic passports, and sharp practices associated with numerous immigration services.”

The permanent secretary who said that Abeshi’s appointment was based on merit, called for purposeful leadership in the service under its new leader.

“Purposeful leadership will help NIS to align with policies of the present administration which are anchored on objectivity, rule of law, prudence, fairness and justice.

“You (Abeshi) are expected to redirect the affairs of NIS on the path of honour where extant rules and regulations, due process and standard practice are followed in conduct of its activities.

“Alleged excess charges for Nigeria’s standard passport, indiscriminate issuance of diplomatic passports and sharp practices associated with NIS should be immediately addressed,” he said.

Magaji added that adequate attention should be paid to the management of Nigeria’s land, air and water borders, and that more personnel should be deployed for effective manning of the borders.

“Border patrol and prevention of illegal migrants rests squarely on NIS, any failure in that direction will not be tolerated by the government,” he said.

Responding, the CG said his leadership intended to give Nigerians a “citizens inclusive immigration service,” noting that the  objective could  be actualised only with the support of the government at all levels.

He assured that details of his mission and vision as the CG would be made public soon.

Abeshi, who joined the NIS in 1989 as Assistant Controller, was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari following the suspension and subsequent sacking of the former CG, David Parradang, over alleged illegal recruitment into the service.