Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) would undergo compulsory drug tests as part of efforts to improve the efficiency of the service to the public.
The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede, who disclosed this on Saturday in Kano, announced that the Service cannot allow any drug addict or drug-dependent person to handle its weapons, saying that “that would be too expensive to handle.”
Speaking at the 3rd Conversion Course’ Passing-out Parade (POP) of the Service, held at the Nigeria Immigration Training School, Kano, Babandede observed that the weapons are meant to protect Nigerians.
While insisting that he would be the first to submit himself for the test, he said that those who failed to scale through the test would be rehabilitated, adding that if after that had been done, those officers who remained addicted to drugs would be dismissed.
The Comptroller General stressed that the new measures were being undertaken in the light of the menace of drug abuse in the society.
The Immigration boss cautioned officers against engaging in any form of extortion and inducement in the discharge of their duties, saying the Service would not condone such misconduct.
On the new visa regime, he allayed fears being expressed in some quarters that relaxing the issuance process would open the country’s borders to all manner of persons or would undermine national security.
“To those already nursing fear on the new visa regime, let me say the new system will not breach national security. We are taking necessary measures and strategies to ensure the system is not distorted. We would not allow foreigners to come to take over local jobs in the new visa regime,” he stated.
“We would also not tolerate officers extorting money from the public we are meant to serve, irrespective of his or her origin,” he added.