By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi
The Federal Government,has introduced a new immigration policy known as “Immigration Regulations 2017,’’ to check terrorism and other trans-border crimes.
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau unveiling the document in Abuja, yesterday.
Dambazau explained that the new immigration policy empowers the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to properly register all foreigners, protect Nigerian borders, enhance internal security and attract foreign investors using the latest technology.
The minister said with the new policy, the NIS would be empowered to register and monitor the entry and movement of foreign herdsmen who come into Nigeria and that it will help curb herdsmen and farmers clashes.
He also explained that the “Immigration Regulations 2017’’ is a vital document that seeks to operationalise the Immigration Act, 2015 and provide the legal framework for the dynamic and unfolding migratory realities and added that the new policy will replace the old and outdated Immigration Act of 1963, which, he said, “could not take care of modern realities such as terrorism, technology and new immigration challenges.
“The objective of this new policy is to provide the legal framework for the effective implementation of the Immigration Act, 2015 and consolidate existing immigration regulations.
“This new document, therefore, replaces the outdated Immigration Act of 1963,’’ he said.
Earlier, NIS Comptroller-General, Muhammad Babandede, said the “Immigration Regulations 2017 will positively change the operations of NIS in line with international best practices.
“The Immigration Act, 2015 made some profound provisions, such as the establishment of migration directorate, dealing with issues bordering on smuggling of migrants and so on.
“I can assure you that with the Immigration Regulation 2017, NIS has been strategically positioned to combat all cases relating to transnational organised crimes,’’ he said.
Babandede also said NIS will work with other security agencies like the Police, and INTERPOL, to check trans-border crimes, human trafficking and arms smuggling into Nigeria.
Diplomats, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NIS and the International organisation for Migration (IOM) were at the launch.