Statements, Actions and Achievements by Nigeria Immigration Service

PRESS RELEASE: ECOWAS Commission expresses concern over indiscriminate movement of weapons, mercenary fighters in West Africa [10 June 2011, Abuja]

The ECOWAS Commission wishes to express its deep concern over reports of the illicit movement of sophisticated weapons and mercenary fighters across the  region’s borders, a situation largely attributable to the ongoing crisis in Libya and the recent conflict in Cote d’Ivoire.

This situation is very worrisome and portends grave danger to the stability of our region, particularly in countries emerging from conflicts and or experiencing internal unrests.

Consequently, the ECOWAS Commission calls on all Member States to be extra vigilant in monitoring  movements across their borders with a view to arresting perpetrators of crime and forestalling any act that could jeopardize the prevailing peace and tranquility in the region.

The situation also requires the strict implementation of the relevant provisions of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials relating to inter-state cooperation and the strengthening of border controls.

The ECOWAS Commission equally appeals to citizens of the Community to be vigilant and to report to relevant authorities any suspicious movement, especially of weapons or mercenaries in order to contribute to safeguarding life and property within the Community.


“No recruitment for now”, says Nigerian Immigration Service, alerts public of fraudsters

Mrs ROSE UZOMA, Comptroller General of Immigration

On 3 April, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) stated that there was no recruitment going on in the service. It also alerted Nigerians to the activities of a syndicate that is duping job seekers under the pretext of securing employment for them in the service.

A statement by NIS spokesman, Joachim Olumba, said: “It has been brought to the attention of the management that some self-appointed agents have been swindling people of money under the guise of securing employment for them in the Service”. It had therefore become imperative, the statement said, to inform the public that “there is no recruitment exercise going on in NIS”.

The statement added that: “Before undertaking any recruitment exercise, the Service usually provides adequate information to Nigerians through the print and electronic media. Hence, at no time will recruitment into the Service be a subject of rumour”.

Furthermore, the NIS said it had never charged any fees for its recruitment of personnel, and that it is criminal to make financial demands from Nigerians seeking to join the Service. It therefore urged the public to disregard any information about the purported recruitment and report anyone demanding for money to facilitate employment into the Service, to the nearest Police station or Immigration office.

It urged the public to visit its website at for information on recruitment, adding that “any such exercise will certainly be advertised on the portal”.


Nigerian Immigration Service arrests 87 illegal foreigners in Bauchi State

On 2 April, officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) arrested 87 undocumented foreigners in Yalwa, a surburb of Bauchi, capital of Bauchi State.

According to the Comptroller of Immigration Services in the state, Mr Haruna Sa’idu Dawop, the foreigners all came from Niger Republic. He said: “They came in large number, a day to the election, and we suspected that they might be a security threat”. Dawop said the NIS would not allow foreigners to take part in the elections. He said they would be repatriated to their country, but were free to come back to Nigeria after the elections.

However, some local officials believe the foreigners were in the area with more sinister intentions. Mr. Godia Gonto of Bogoro local government said the Niger Republic immigrants were mercinaries recruited by the Hausa-Fulani to fight the Sayawas. The predominantly Muslim Hausa-Fulani have been in a long-drawn conflict with the largely Christian Sayawa in the state.

E-passports: Three million issued since 2007, says Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service

Mrs ROSE UZOMA, Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service

On 27 February, the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Mrs Rose Uzoma, disclosed that the NIS issued about three million electronic passports to Nigerians, from 2007 when the new passport was introduced to February 2011.

According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, the Immigration boss also disclosed that the NIS has commenced the registration and biometric documentation of all Africans in the country including ECOWAS nationals.

Uzoma also said that the NIS had acquired the best technology to detect false age declarations and other personal details that may be falsified, including the change of names by dishonest citizens who may apply for a second passport while claiming they never had one previously.

She said that, with the new facilities, when the NIS machines take fingerprints, the computer would bring out the name of the original owner of those fingerprints; when the name generated matches those of an applicant, it becomes clear that he or she must have already obtained a passport.

She advised that Nigerians should be sensitized to understand that they had to conform to international best practices, especially when they plan to be travel abroad.

Nigerian Immigration Service installs scanners, other IT equipment to check human trafficking

Mrs ROSE UZOMA, Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service

On 27 February, the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Mrs Rose Uzoma, reported that the NIS has installed Document Fraud Readers, scanners and other passenger registration equipment at the nation’s international airports, to check illegal movements and human trafficking.

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, the Comptroller-General said the equipment would also record of the movement of people in and out of the country.

“At the international airports, we have taken necessary steps to install IT equipment, the Document Fraud Readers and the Scanners. We have installed the Passenger Registration Equipment that enables us take stock of whoever is leaving or coming into this country”.

“I could tell when last and if you have ever travelled through our international airports in recent times, I will tell you the time and hour and the immigration officer that cleared you”.

Uzoma said the new facilities have enabled the NIS to now ensure that people no longer travel with forged documents, and that the era when people used their relatives’ passports to travel is now over. This, she explained, is because the installed machines can identify every individual and detect look-alike photographs on passports. Moreover, officers have been sensitised to the challenges of human trafficking and trained to tackle them, in order to shed the bad image which that illicit enterprise had given the country.

Uzoma said that the NIS was also collaborating with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). In this regard, she said, the NIS has established human trafficking units at its headquarters in Abuja and its areas of operation in the states, to complement NAPTIP’s efforts.

Mrs Uzoma observed that trans-border criminality is fueling an on-going battle between border security agents and criminals. She explained that the absence of clear routes or international border control structures across the nation’s borders, continually poses serious security challenges, especially in the extreme north. But she said the NIS would soon establish passport control plazas and other necessary structures to enable officers patrol all the border areas effectively.

Immigration boss, Uzoma, seeks better funding of the Service

Mrs ROSELINE UZOMA, Comptroller General, NIS

On 15 February, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mrs. Roseline Uzoma, at the National Assembly in Abuja, decried the dearth of funds to effectively monitor, arrest and deport illegal immigrants from the country.

Speaking at a 2011 budget defence session held by the House of Representatives Committee on Interior, Mrs Uzoma detailed “monumental shortfalls” amounting to over N1 billion in the 2010 budget, which she said, should be filled in this year’s budget.

“Immigration does not have enough funds to arrest, monitor and export illegal immigrants from this country”, she said. Besides, she said,  the NIS does not even have free access to the information bank on e-passports issued to Nigerian citizens. “The e-passport data is being housed by the contractor and we (NIS) don’t have the equipment to warehouse it. Whenever we need data, we would have to contact the contractor”, she said. She also revealed that most of the patrol vehicles presently being used by the service were “donated by Spanish and Italian governments”.

Informing the Jerimon Manwe-led committee that over N4 billion was realised from the issuance of e-passports and other service activities, Uzoma sought the sum of N2.17 billion as overhead cost, and N2.670 billion as capital estimates, for the NIS for the year 2011.

She also pleaded with the committee to recommend to the Appropriations Committee, a budget to rehabilitate and upgrade the hostels and residences of workers, as well as those of Immigration trainees.

In Adamawa, Immigration chief accuses politicians of mobilizing foreigners to register for April polls

On 26 January, the Adamawa State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service accused some politicians of mobilising foreigners to join the on-going voter registration exercise, preparatory to swelling their votes in the April elections.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola, the State Comptroller of Immigration, Alhaji Yunusa Lerama, said some politicians, specifically in the Belel area of Maiha Local Government Area which shares borders with Cameroon, were bringing in Cameroonians to register as Nigerians. The comptroller said his men were working in all the 21 local government areas of the state to stop the illegal importation of foreigners for the exercise, remove any foreigners spotted on registration queues and confiscate the cards of any of them known to have registered.

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