The Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Ekiti State Command, Mrs Ifeoma Dibia, said on Thursday that the electronic registration of foreigners in the country would have direct impact on social, economic and security sectors of the nation.
Dibia said the exercise would enable the government to plan for the migrants and as well help the security architecture of the nation to build formidable database.
The NIS comptroller, who spoke in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, during the inauguration of the Migrant e-Registration exercise, said, “As an instrument for identification, the e-registration would ensure protection of migrants’ rights and serve as a source of information and intelligence for all security agencies, including the international police.”
According to her, apart from making Nigeria free of criminals, registration of foreigners will help in building database that will help the country in national planning.
Dibia, who appealed to traditional rulers, employers of labour and landlords to help in sensitizing foreigners to be captured, said the programme would cover all migrants who wanted to stay in Nigeria for 90 days and above.
She said, “It is free regardless of where the migrants come from. It is meant for all non-Nigerians above 18, including ECOWAS citizens, who are resident or intend to stay in the country beyond 90 days.
“Those that are minors will be registered under their parents. Those that are exempted are Nigerians, persons enjoying diplomatic immunity and immigrants staying in Nigeria for less than 90 days.”
The comptroller said the government had given a six-month amnesty to all regular and irregular immigrants in the country, which would lapse early next year.
She said the exercise would validate and legalise their stay in the country.
Dibia said, “Good database will help in coordination, monitoring and controlling of immigrants and their activities for adequate security of our nation. Apart from security, it is necessary for immigrants to be documented for national planning.”
Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, said the programme was part of efforts to secure Nigeria’s territory.
He added, “Identity management is very important for the safety of our nation, because it will help to check illegal immigrants. With this policy, the rights of all the immigrants will also be protected because they too must be part of those to secure the nation.”
The electronic registration of foreigners in Nigeria was inaugurated on July 12, 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.