Layi Olarewaju, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, yesterday, flagged off the electronic registration of non-Nigerians residents in the state, describing the exercise by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) as a key step in national security and socioeconomic development of the country.
The e-registration, which would be carried out in eight Nigerian states, would see the NIS documenting all non-Nigerians living in the country as part of efforts to keep accurate data, curb crimes, and transnational terrorism and security threats.
According to the NIS, the programme aims at ensuring a ßproper registration of migrant in the country. It also targets the generation of a robust personal profile and electronic biometric data base of all foreigners that intend to stay in Nigeria beyond the period of 90 days. AbdulRazaq, who lauded the NIS for the foresight in launching the initiative saying it would offer an opportunity for effective national security and socioeconomic planning.
“This is another milestone in our collective efforts to secure our country in this age of transnational terrorism and other crimes that threaten our national security,” said AbdulRazaq.
“But I also see it as an opportunity to properly document people who live within our borders for effective planning, development and mutually beneficial collaborations. It is a thing of pride to us that Kwara State is among the eight selected states to pilot this noble scheme.
“I call on all migrants in Kwara State to key into this programme by immediately submitting themselves at the NIS office in Ilorin, and all designated centres for proper documentation and registration. This will help the State to ascertain identities of migrants and what they do. It will also create a strong synergy with migrants who are in to legal businesses,” he added.
He pledged government’s support for the exercise and urged officers doing the capturing to ensure it is done professionally and in the overall interest of the country.
The state Comptroller for the NIS, Edith Onyemenam, said migrants above 18 years staying beyond 90 days in Nigeria would be captured in the exercise.
“The Federal Government has granted a six months amnesty period to migrants with which they can be registered irrespective of their immigration status, and failure to comply will amount to a violation of the Nigerian immigration laws,” she said.