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Customs repartriates 160 illegal immigrants

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No fewer than 160 illegal immigrants that entered Nigeria without valid documents have been repatriated, the Acting Coordinator of Border Drill Operation Sector 3, Comptroller Garba Mohammed has said.

Sector 3 of the task force covers Benue, Kogi, Kwara and Niger States of North Central Nigeria.

Mohammed indicated this in Ilorin on Sunday, noting that the joint task force was set up to tackle security and economic challenges, including cattle rustling, kidnapping, child trafficking, illegal migration and smuggling.

“It is also to ensure that the neighbouring countries respect the agreements and protocols signed with Nigeria,” he said.

The acting coordinator explained that Nigeria signed three agreements; first is with the World Trade Organisation, second with ECOWAS trade and third, African Continental trade.

He said that the security situation of the country was taking a very dangerous proportion in terms of terrorism and banditry, which had destroyed many communities, but the joint task force has drastically reduced the atrocities.

Mohammed said that the border closure has influenced the decision of the Nigeria Immigration Service, and they made a record in which all the foreigners in Nigeria are now registered.

Assistant Comptroller of Immigration (ACI) Ibrahim Liman, a member of the Border Drill Operation, supported by saying that all the immigrants in the zone have been duly registered and documented online.

Liman said that the migrants working on farms, factories, whether from Africa or any other place, had been officially registered with official documents to identify themselves.

“A platform has been made for the purpose, and recorded. We have statistics now, just like Customs, in terms of revenue generated, seizures made and others.

“We are trying to organise our country in a platform, whereby the system can work perfectly in terms of economic development, policy and revenue generation, capacity building and migration management.

“To know the type of person coming into the country, whether skilled or unskilled worker, should be classified and have them on record,” he said.

Liman said that the NIS is working on it and the joint task force is also supervising this kind of things.

“Our work in joint task force is to supervise and ensure adherence in all this kind of government policy and regulatory processes.

“We also control measures on the type of people coming in. People coming into Nigeria must have the necessary documents and those going out of Nigeria must also have documents, even Nigerians.

“This is the kind of awareness campaign that the media should tell the public, to desist from traveling without document, or going outside Nigeria without cogent reason.

“This is to protect the image of the country, to do the right thing and go in line with the guidelines of travelling, like coming into a country, gaining employment and so on,” he said.

Liman said that Nigeria is part of ECOWAS, so when the bilateral agreement signed by ECOWAS is been abided by the neighbouring countries, it is going to make Nigeria economy sophisticated and protected, as well as perfect it.

“The international agreement signed is for the free flow of economic activities, and it is not against the etiquettes of this country, but when there is violation of protocols, there is certainly going to be problems,” he said.

Liman said that nobody should take the currency of a country to another country, and nobody should misuse the foreign currency.

“The purpose of regulating exportation is to protect the foreign exchange reserve, which the federal government is providing to business people to import petroleum, machinery and chemicals for production.

“People end up illegally exporting this product, so virtually all the benefit that the federal government is giving to importers, to provide goods and services to the people is diverted for export.

“And so the benefit is not coming to Nigeria but outside the country. The benefit and profit is also going to private pockets,” he said.

Liman urged Nigerians to be law-abiding, saying “if you pay the revenue or tax to government, it is going to be geared into development”.

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