The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has urged the acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Idris Jere, to effectively secure the nation’s borders and ensure nobody slipped in from outside to cause any harm.
The Media Adviser to the minister, Mr Sola Fasure, who disclosed this in a statement, on Tuesday, in Abuja, quoted the minister as giving the advice when Federal Commissioners and Board Secretary of the NSCDC, Correctional Service, Federal Fire Service and NIS Board (CDCFIB), visited his office to present the Acting C-G to him.
The media adviser said Aregbesola noted that the primary responsibility of the acting C-G was to lead the service to provide adequate security at the nation’s borders and curtail any attempts by anyone slipping into the country with the intent to cause harm to the country and its citizens.
“It is important also that you ease the passage of persons that will add value to our country. You will maintain the delicate balance of stopping the bad guys and attracting the good guys”, Aregbesola said.
On the administration of passport issuance, the minister stated that Nigerians, who were desirous of getting passports must get it expeditiously and without losing their dignity in the process of doing so.
“You are pretty much aware of the reforms being carried out, foremost of which is in passport administration.
“Being a passport officer, you will appreciate this challenge more than most. I have no doubt that you will be able to drive this reform and accelerate its success.
“The passport is the highest affirmation of Nigerian citizenship. The extent to which we succeed in putting it in the hands of any Nigerian desirous of it expeditiously and without losing their dignity is the extent to which we succeed as an agency of government.
“There must be zero tolerance of touting and any form of corruption”, the minister told the new C-G.
The minister added that the acting C-G must build on the achievements of his predecessor in office, noting that his appointment as the acting C-G was natural and easy, being the most senior officer.
“He has put in 34 years of service and has been at NIS all his working life. He is, therefore, an embodiment of the institution.
“It is important, therefore, that you prepare your mind for service. Your predecessor made his mark and left giant footprints. You will be assessed against this,” he said.
Aregbesola also rallied the NIS to support the acting C-G and assured him of the cooperation and assistance of the ministry and the Federal Government.
“I enjoin the officers and men of the NIS to cooperate with and assist you in all ramifications and I can assure you of the unalloyed support of the ministry and government in your assignment.”
In his remarks, Jere affirmed his commitment, with the collaboration of officers and men of the service, to deliver on the mandate handed to him.
“Sir, the service is committed to our primary mandate, which is securing Nigeria’s borders and also concluding on the passport reforms initiated by my predecessor in office.
“I will also ensure staff welfare is well taken care of as no reform can be successful outside a well dedicated and motivated workforce.”
The acting C-G joined the service in 1987 patiently and steadily rose through the ranks to be appointed Deputy Controller-General in 2018.
In between, he has held positions as Passport Control Officer and Deputy Controller- General in charge of Finance and Accounts.