By Godwin Oritse
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says it is collaborating with the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigeria Police Force and other agencies to curb trans-border crimes.
Mr Dominic Asogwa, the Comptroller, Seme Border Command, who spoke on crime prevention around the border during the election period, said the service was vigilant to its responsibilities.
Asogwa listed other agencies to include the Nigerian Air Force, Department of State Services, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
“We are not working in isolation, but collaborating with other sister agencies to achieve government directives on security, particularly at this time of general elections.
“Here in Seme, our team is working as a family with other agencies to curb crimes, especially trans-border crimes; and the cooperation has been wonderful as many serious crimes have been brought under control.
“The Customs Area Controller in this command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, has directed that all security officers participating in the border closure monitoring exercise, be fed during the elections period.
“This shows wonderful synergy and cooperation among us here, in spite of the fact that it falls under our purview to close the borders, but we have to carry others along,’’ he said.
Asogwa also said the command was also in partnership with neighbouring country security agencies to ensure that there were no loopholes in securing the country during the period of elections.
“We have also extended the hands of fellowship to both the Commissioner of Police and the Comptroller of Customs in the Republic of Benin.
“The NIS is having a good deal of inter-departmental relationship, and we participate mutually in activities that are affecting both countries.’’
According to him, the enormous effort the service is putting in combating trans-border crime has helped in the drastic reduction of crime in the area.
He, however, admitted that there was difficulty in curbing trans-border crimes as even developed countries like the U.S., were still struggling with trans-border crime.
Asogwa further said that the NIS Comptroller General Muhammad Babandede, has embarked on serious training of officers and men of the Service.
“This time around, the officers have been trained and more conversant with their responsibilities.
“That is why when some of the officers posted here already know what to do, this is one of the ways we check trans-border crimes.
“We are trained to read the body language of people to detect who they are, that is why in a mix of people, we detect illegal immigrants,’’ he said.