Federal Government refused entry for 1,111 irregular migrants.
The federal Government has refused entry for 1,111 irregular migrants in the past two months of the ongoing joint border operations just as it has removed 728 others who are already in the country. The Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede, at a joint briefing with Customs in Abuja, who revealed this, said that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) had also stopped many on irregular migration since August 20 when the operation began.
He said: “Before this operation, people enter into the country in and out. But this operation has enhanced the ECOWAS rule on entry and exit of persons.
“We have refused entry for 1,111 people who do not have the right travel documents to enter Nigeria. Among the 147 people we have arrested, many are not even citizens of ECOWAS states.
“We have arrested Pakistanis and North Koreans; we have deported seven and processing deportation of the others. 728 who have entered into the country have been removed,” he explained. Coordinator of the Exercise at the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Aliyu Ndagi, said the operation had promoted inter-agency harmony, adding that the agencies involved had been directed to use only minimum force in the process.
The Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), who spoke on how the operation was impinging on the fundamental rights of movement, said: “When it comes to security, all other laws take a backseat. Nigeria must survive first then we can begin to consider your rights.”
Speaking on the gains, he said: “As it is in the last report, our consumption of petroleum products has reduced by 10.2 million litres which means that has been continuously been smuggled to our neighboring countries.”
He said goods worth N1.43 billion had been seized while operatives had arrested 317 suspected smugglers and 147 illegal migrants, seized 21,071 bags of foreign rice, 190 vehicles, 891 drums of petrol, 2665 can of vegetable oil, 66,000 litres tanker of vegetable oil, 133 motorcycles, 70 cans of petrol and 131 bags of fertilizer used for making explosives.
“As a result of this closure, Niger Republic has already circulated an order banning exportation of rice in any form to Nigeria,” Ali added.