The Nigeria Immigration Service requires about 5,000 personnel annually for the next five years to meet its manpower capacity, its comptroller-general, Martins Abeshi, has said.
Mr. Abeshi said this Thursday in Abuja when the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, visited the NIS as part of his familiarisation tour of parastatals under his ministry.
On the botched recruitment where some applicants lost their lives, the comptroller-general said the NIS was ready to conduct and absorb new officers as soon as it got directive from the Federal Government.
He pledged to ensure professionalism in the service in line with international best practice and the federal government’s Change Agenda.
Mr. Abeshi disclosed that the Nigeria Immigration Service generated N19. 4 billion between January and October 2015.
According to him, N9, 788, 969,705 was generated from passports/operations, while N9, 676, 474, 587 was generated from the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien’s Card (CERPAC) within the period.
He said apart from the passport processing offices in the country, the CERPAC production centres had been increased to cover all states of the federation and the Onne Free Trade Zone in Rivers.
Mr. Abeshi said about $24.6 million was also generated from the service’s passports/visa operations abroad during the period under review.
He said in spite of the revenue generated, the service was facing a lot of challenges which included poor funding, needed for capital projects.
“Over the years, the NIS has been contending with poor funding, especially for capital projects for construction of border control plazas/automation of control posts.
“Lack of modern communication equipment and security gadgets such as sensors and alarm systems and surveillance cameras to cover the flanks through which irregular migration occurs, is also a major challenge”, he said.
He said the expansive and unstructured nature of Nigeria’s border made border management a herculean task, but pledged the commitment of NIS officers to redouble their efforts in line with Federal Government’s change agenda.
Earlier, Mr. Dambazau said the familiarisation tour was part of efforts by the federal government to reposition the NIS and other parastatals under the ministry in line with global best practice.
Mr. Danbazau described the NIS as very strategic to internal security and warned on the need for officers and men to be more professional and diligent in the discharge of their duty.
The minister also stressed the need for adequate border security in order to check the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the prevention of people with ulterior motives entering the country.
He assured of improved welfare and provision of modern facilities for officers and men of the service, while warning of sanctions for corrupt and indolent officers.