The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) will launch a control centre for online border monitoring by next year and also activate complaints centres.
The Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr. Mohammed Babadede, unfolded the plan on Monday in Abuja during the decoration of 41 senior officers, including 14 Assistant Comptrollers General of Immigration.
He also decorated 38 Comptrollers of Immigration, including the Service Public Relations Officer, Mr. King Ekpedeme.
Babadede described the occasion as one that would spur officers to brace up to defend their ranks and change their orientation to face the challenges of recent times.
He told the officers that migration had assumed a major problem and advised officers not allow Nigeria to become a victim.
“We must patrol and protect our borders to curtail irregular migrants so as to fight terrorism,’’ he said.
He also told officers to ensure proficiency in allowing foreigners because many of them have taken over Nigerian jobs.
“We are so careless and so foreigners have taken over our jobs, including driving taxes, taken over both the mining and oil and gas sector.
“You must change and bring about better Nigeria.’’
He advised officers to adapt to the change mantra, positive attitudinal change canvassed by the government, saying: There must be tangible change. It’s not going to be business as usual.’’
Babadede advised officers to eschew corruption and see themselves as gatekeepers and first point of contact with travellers who are both Nigerians and foreigners.
“Passengers expect warm welcome from immigration officers. These passenger have gone through stress and demand careful and good reception.
“Stop demanding for money. Change is within and I expect you to change.
“ Even the way we issue passports. By next year we must give time frame to issue passports and visas.’’
He said that the promotion was based on performance, not lobbying or passing the promotion examination, so the service expected good character.
He explained that promotion examination would be conducted digitally beginning from next year and not the present analogue system.
With the promotion, he said that the Service was gradually solving the problem of backlog in advancement.
No fewer than 5,000 officers have been promoted since he assumed duty.
Mr. Adamu Mumir, an Assistant Comptroller General, thanked the government for the gesture and explained that recipients were aware that promotion was a call for more dedication, efficient and effective service.
“To whom much is given much is expected,’’ he said.