From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
August 2 (Newshour.com.ng) – Worried by the in flocks of illegal immigrants living in Nigeria, in view of the porous nature of most of the nation’s borders and coupled with criminal activities associated with some of them, Imo State Government (IMSG) has enjoined members of Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS to be strictly proactive in checkmating people entering the country through her various borders.
Governor Hope Uzodimma said this on Tuesday during a well attended party organized by the Service as part of the programmes marking their week long 60th Anniversary celebrations with the theme : Nigeria Immigration Service At 60; Enhancing Seamless Regular Migration, held at a prestigious hotel in Owerri.
Uzodimma who was absent due to exigencies of duty was ably represented by his Deputy, Prof. Placid Njoku as he commended the State Service Chiefs for honouring the invitation, which he described as “symbolization of unity of purpose among the State’s security czars”.
The Governor who also congratulated the Service for their diamond aged celebration, noted their social responsibilities to include regulating human migration, surveillance protection of the nation through her borders and being the face of the nation before immigrants.
According to him ” I so much challenge the Agency, to be proactive in terms of borders security surveillance of immigrants. Most Nigeria’s borders are porous, warranting undue advantages of the immigrants and most of them are illegal with criminal intentions. Imo State has been a victim of unregulated activities of illegal immigrants ” he informed.
He applauded NIS for being digitally and technologically inclined as well as maximum utilization of their meagre resources even as he commended them for their strategic roles in the State Joint Security Task Force.
In her opening remarks, the State Comptroller, CIS Nkechi Ezugwu commended the Acting Comptroller General, CGI Caroline Wura-Ola Adepoju for her commitments in the administration of the Agency especially concerning the welfare of the workers and solicited to the Federal Government on the need for the earliest confirmation of her appointment.
Ezugwu who gave the historical trajectory transformations of NIS, informing that the Immigration Act was promulgated in 1963 with the constitutional responsibilities of Immigration and migration management.
While thanking the State Government, workers and contemporary agencies for their massive supports, she also expressed happiness on the technological advancement in their service deliveries.
The Comptroller also canvassed for improvement in the welfare of the workers especially, increment in salaries and allowances, in view of the nation’s socioeconomic realties and the imminent challenges associated with their social responsibilities.
Earlier, at the Federal Secretariat Owerri , the Command electrified the place as the men did an excellent but amazing march pass at the parade ground while Ezugwu energetically took the salute.
The Comptroller who was overwhelmed with the performances and attendance despite the fears of insecurities in the State, announced that as part of the anniversary celebrations that Indomie Noodles will feed over 500 person’s in the Secretariat and its environ.
She cautioned against touting while lamenting on work environment, informing that the State Government out of their magnanimity and love for the Service have donated 2 befitting places for them to choose one and relocate as permanent Secretariat.
Ezugwu who assured of plans for their relocation in the next two months, advised the workers on the need for them to be disciplined and patriotic in the discharge of their duties, informing that her administration has zero tolerance to corruption and indiscipline no matter who you are.
The celebration was also richly enlivened with traditional dances, Cultural displays and contemporary lecture eruditely delivered by Joachim Olumba,CIS Rtd with a topic: Migration Management in Nigeria And Its Essence For National Security And Development.
Olumba pointed out that issuing of Nigeria International Passport is merely 2% of constitutional responsibilities of NIS noting that migration which is a critical phenomenon entails cross border movement.
He identified the core responsibility of the Service as checkmating migration and Immigration of people into the country, insisting that the legal frame works establishing the Service entrusted her with about 20 other responsibilities.
The lecturer reiterated that the Service has the best laboratory services for Immigration and migration services in ECOWAS nations and solicited for an improved funding of NIS activities.
In his good will message, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, one time Nigeria Minister of Interior noted with nostalgia the activities of the Service while under him as a Minister of the Federal Republic.
Iheanacho described the Service in execution of their constitutional responsibilities as wonderful and further thumbed them up for being highly focused, organized, disciplined and giving women opportunity to grow on the job.
Highlights of the occasion was cutting of the anniversary’s beautifully designed cake, presentation of Awards of Excellence to some of their stakeholders, gift to most of their retirees and group photograph with eminent personalities that graced the occasion.