The United Nations through one of its Agencies, International Organisation For Migration (IOM) is presently embarking on a training programme for the Nigeria Immigration Service Seme border Command.
IOM has began the training of officers of the Service on the use of Mobile MIDAS Devices installed at the Command for mobile capturing of travellers’ biometric data meant for easy clearance at the border Area.
19Mobile MIDAS Devices and 19 motorcycles were handed over by IOM representative, Mr Jeremiah Joshua to the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, CGIS, Alh. Isa Idris Jere who was represented by the Zonal Coordinator, ACG Olakunle Gabriel Ososanya, supported by the Compt.(Dr ) Micheal Chukwemeka Dike.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the CGIS speaking through the Zonal Coordinator, ACG Olakunle Gabriel Ososanya said the machines come very handy because of the cumbersome nature of the borders not only in Nigeria but the entire Africa, which he describes as a creation of the colonial masters; “now the world is becoming a global village and that’s one reason why people move from one place to the other in search of Greener Pastures. We also are aware that people move illegally to commit all manner of criminality: such as trafficking in humans, drugs and others. We have also discovered that some of our border Areas are hostile and hardly accessible and as such, very large to cover, which is where these gadgets come in very handy by IOM. This will make it easy to take the biometrics of travellers,” he stated.
The CGIS thanked the IOM for coming to their aid, “the gadgets are for all the Security Agencies at the Seme border Area, because we need this synergy and collaboration to police this border, we also collaborate with Sister Agencies across the borders to make our job easier. We thank the IOM, we appreciate the United Nations and the Government of Switzerland for making this possible,” Ososanya said.
Earlier on, the Comptroller Nigeria Immigration Service, Seme border Command, Compt.(Dr) Michael Chukwemeka Dike said that in the last 3 weeks,IOM has conducted training for officers and Men on the operational modalities of Mobile MIDAS. According to him, “the approval for the training by the CGIS is a demonstration of the importance the NIS attaches to training and manpower development of it’s staff as a motivational source for higher productivity.”
Continuing, Dike stated that the CGIS,Alh. Isa Jere has since the inception of his stewardship initiated far reaching reforms, training and capacity building to improve service delivery of the officers and Men of the Service. The NIS which is the lead agency in the border management has through its constitutional mandate enhanced and improved the security structure across the Nigerian borders. The NIS has also put in place far reaching reforms and institutional structures to safeguard the nation’s border line of 4047km and has made stronger contributions toward national security and Socio – economic development of the Nigerian Nation,” Dike stated.
Furthermore, Comptroller Dr Dike said the usage of MIDAS since 2016 in Nigeria border space is a product of harmonious partnership between NIS and IOM and this has resulted in the installation of MIDAS equipment in 14 land borders, 5 international Airports, 4 sea ports and 8 state Commands, making 31 locations in Nigerian borders (Air, Land and Sea) and has precipitated a robust security and modern migration platform in Nigeria. He enthused that the training of officers and Men of his Command by the IOM will certainly improve the understanding and usage of these devices to help in tackling cases of irregular migration, child trafficking, force labour and other vices associated with irregular migration. ” The trainees on their side, should count themselves privileged to be part of this experience and should maximize the knowledge for the benefit of the service,” Dike advised.
Giving an overview of what the programme is all about at the handing over ceremony in Seme, IOM Coordinator, Jeremiah Joshua said the Organisation’s mandate is to facilitate easy and regular migration at all the borders, especially the Seme border Area. ” Our devices make it easier fo Immigration to carry out their already assigned duty at the border. The devices will further enhance what they have been doing by making it easier at a touch of the button.”
According Joshua, it is because of the importance of the Seme border Area that IOM chose to provide all the gadgets and facilitate this training Nigeria Immigration Service Officers at the Seme border Command. He informed that the training had commenced 3 weeks ago with mobile kits which come fully packaged and embedded with all communication and security gadgets needed by the Immigration and other security Agencies, ” it is just another mobile intervention in facilitating migration and it is billed at enhancing the already existing security at the Seme border Command,” he explained.
Also at the event, the Comptroller Lagos border Patrol, Compt. Fatai Shittu thanked the CGIS for making this training possible, in his words, ” this is an opportunity for our officers to experience a programme of this magnitude and they should accept, learn and assimilate what is being thought.”
He however, asked for more gadgets and more updated programme to bring officers and Men up to speed with modern day immigration work.
In attendance also, were officers from NAFDAC, Plant quarantine, DSS, Police and the Commissaire Police Krake, Republic of Benin, Vianou Fifame who thanked the NIS Seme border Command for their collaboration with the Benin republic security Agencies, while acknowledging that Nigeria and Benin republic are like twin brothers and have always collaborated.