…As CG NIS says policy will strengthen security
By Raphael Ekpang
Members of the Senate committee on Interior have expressed fears over the federal government points of entry visa policy to African countries.
The committee, during an interactive session on Tuesday with the minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and the Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede, urged the minister to advise the President appropriately on the policy, stressing that if the policy will undermine the country’s security architecture it should be drop forthwith.
Sen. Isa Shuaibu Lau (PDP) Kaduna central advised that instead of implementing the point of entry visa policy, the FG through the various security agencies should first of all comb the nooks and crannies of the country and free it of illegal immigrants who are threatening the nation’s security.
Responding to the fear of the lawmakers, the Comptroller General of Nigerian Immigration Service, (NIS), Muhammed Babandede said that, the point of entry visa policy will rather strengthen the nation security than weakening it as expressed by the lawmakers.
According to him, with the current policy in place, they would be able to have all data of individual coming in to the country.
“Distinguished members, I can understand your fears as representatives of the people, but I want to assure you that this policy of point of entry visa is globally best practices.
It is to strengthen the security of Nigerians because what we are doing now with the arrival of the policy, we not only capture them biometrically but we also take their photograph so that in case of anything they won’t be any hiding place for them” he said.
However, the Senate committee chairman on Interior, Kashim Shettima Borno central who also expressed fear over the policy, advise the FG to consider the pros and coins of the policy before going ahead.
Meanwhile, he admitted that based on the explanation by the CG, they have gotten the message, though, insisted that the committee will report back to the Senate with facts gathered.
“We are going to leave this place well informed and well educated. He said “Ours here is to gather all facts and assemble them together and report back to the Senate.”