A new immigration policy document titled, “Immigration Regulations 2017” was on Monday unveiled by the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, to check the entry of terrorists and other trans-border criminals into the country.
During the unveiling ceremony, Dambazau stated that the document would also fast-track the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
The minister noted that the new immigration policy is a vital document that seeks to operationalise the Immigration Act, 2015 and provide a legal framework for the dynamic and unfolding migratory realities.
According to him, the new policy would replace the old and outdated Immigration Act of 1963, which did not take into consideration such modern realities as terrorism, technology and new immigration challenges.
He said: “The objective of this new Immigration Regulations 2007 is to provide the legal framework for the effective implementation of the Immigration Act, 2015 and consolidate existing immigration regulations.
“This new document therefore replaces the outdated Immigration Act of 1963.”
Dambazzau said that the new document will empower the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, to properly register all foreigners, protect the borders, enhance internal security and attract foreign investors using the latest technology.
Also, the new policy will facilitate better documentation and monitoring of foreign herdsmen who come into the country, thereby curbing the incessant cases of clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
The Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede, in his remarks, noted that the “Immigration Regulations 2017” would positively change the operations of NIS in line with international best practices.
“The Immigration Act, 2015 made some profound provisions such as the establishment of migration directorate, dealing with issues bordering on smuggling of migrants and so on,” he said.
“I can assure you that with the Immigration Regulation 2017, NIS has been strategically positioned to combat all cases relating to transnational organised crimes.”
Babandende said that the immigration service will collaborate with other security agencies like the Police, and the INTERPOL to check trans-border crimes, human trafficking and arms smuggling into Nigeria.