The Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, on Thursday said the agency was understaffed and inadequately funded.
The Comptroller-General of the service, Martin Abeshi, made this known at the 2016 Comptroller General of Immigration’s annual conference and stakeholders’ interactive forum in Lafia, Nasarawa State, stating that the NIS was contending with many challenges in the performance of its duties.
He said, “As most government agencies, prominent among the challenges in the NIS is under-funding and under-staffing.
“The NIS has less than 23,000 workers and the enormous statutory obligations of the NIS coupled with emerging migration trends and trajectories make this number of personnel inadequate.
“Consequently, we are unable to procure the required patrol vehicles, aircraft, boats and communication gadgets as well as modern arms and ammunition.
“While only 114 control posts are approved across the country’s land borders, there are 1,400 illegal routes that are not manned,” the Comptroller general said, soliciting the support of stakeholders to overcome these challenges.
Also speaking at the forum, President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahaman Dambazzau said effective border security/management must be intelligence-driven.
The President said, “The NIS cannot afford to rest at this critical time of our national life, as the myriad of irregular migration and other forms of trans-border crimes, including arms smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking and terrorism must be tackled.
“Inter-agency cooperation must be based on mutual trust and respect.”
He, however, warned officers and men of the NIS to shun corruption and sharp practices capable of tarnishing the image of Nigeria.