The Controller General , Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) Muhammad Babandede yesterday in Abuja said that the service has so far registered 4,377 migrants nationwide.
Babandede gave the figure at a media parley , after the flag-off of the Migrant e-registration exercise, at the Nigerian Immigration Service Headquarters in Abuja.
The CG who disclosed that turnout was impressive explained that the service has recorded tremendous success in the migrant free e-registration exercise since inception in July.
He said, “We have so far recorded 2,175 in the Federal Capital Territory and a total of 4,377 Nationwide. We are however optimistic that, before the presidential amnesty on the registration runs out, we will record a significant number of the irregular and regular migrants registered”.
“We have a strategic plan of working with traditional and religious institutions, civil society groups and NGO’s to work with us to ensure continuous turnout in the registration exercise because the process will contribute to national development” he noted.
He also lamented that, most of the registered people are irregular migrants covering over two thousand in the FCT thereby urging migrants to register before the amnesty period elapses to avoid being penalized.
“Based on our statistics, we have registered more irregular migrants; that is why we are capturing their biometrics because once your thumbs are captured, it cannot be change. Any person who refused to register and wants to leave the country will be charged for over-stay as a penalty”.
Coordinator of the e-registration exercise, Controller Aliyu Ahmad Bauchi stated that, the initiative is designed to address minor violations of the Immigration Act by both regular and irregular migrants in the country.
Stressing that the initiative is part of the NIS institutional response to addressing so many issues tied to security, planning and other development processes and migrants have responded by coming out to register.
Meanwhile, Babandede in a statement by the Service Public Relations Officer, Sunday James reassure the general public that the new enhanced e-Passpport is acceptable at all countries.
The NIS boss explained that the recent problem on the e-Passport with the authority of the United Arab Emirate has been resolved. He said, “In view of the above, Nigerians are encouraged to get their National Identity Number and ensure that the information tallies with the one on their Passports.
“ The uniformity of the NIN information and that of the 10 year validity Passport is to ensure one identity which is a major feature of the new enhanced e-Passport and is available in the Service Headquarters, Abuja and Ikoyi, pending the roll-out in other centres.
“ It is worthy to note that the issuance of the former and the new enhanced e-Passports will run concurrently. “ Babandede stated.