Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has charged the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), to check migration through illegal routes, in order to end unnecessary loss of lives.
He gave the charge while declaring open the Comptroller General of Immigration Annual Conference 2017 with the theme Managing Migration and Facilitating Trade and Development in the 21st Century Nigeria: NIS Perspective, in Abeokuta yesterday.
Amosun, who noted that migration is part of life, however said there is the need to strengthen and police the porous borders in the state, as it will help reduce the flow of illegal aligns into the coming through the borders.
"It becomes imperative that we properly scrutinise people coming into the country. We must be able to identify those with genuine interest, who will add value to the system and not those who will come in and end up being security threats.
"In another dimension, the importance of a good Immigration Service to a country is more reflected in guarding the territorial integrity of a country. Therefore, it is up to the Immigration Service to shut out illegal aliens and those with criminal tendencies, coming over from other countries.
"The economic benefit of this, is that right from the borders, those who have nothing to add to the economy but rather are coming over to scavenge, and those whose major intention is to sabotage the economy, are checked, the governor added.
Also according to him, there is need for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), as gate keepers, to be alive to its responsibilities, adding that "for a country like ours, the roles of the Immigration Service are such that it is an apparatus of government, saddled with the responsibilities of regulating trans-border movement.
The governor, while commending the service for its efforts in making passports and visa collection easier, enjoined it to have at least one office in each of the Senatorial Districts of the state, to further ease the stress by applicants.
In his address, the Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Mr. Mohammed Babandede said that the theme of the conference conference couldn't have been more apt, because of the recent media coverage and public outcry of the atrocities committed against migrants in Libya.
He said the agency is committed to safe and regular migration to prevent the sad stories of loss of lives and resources of Nigerian citizens as well as engaged in measures and activities to reduce the menace in collaboration with other stakeholders.