The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says despite Covid-19 threat, its critical services such as passport and passenger clearance at the Airports continued despite the lockdown.
According to the Service, this was made possible through the adoption of technology.
In a statement issued on Thursday by the Public Relations Officer of the Service, James Sunday, he said the service observed all necessary Covid-19 protocols in the discharge of its duties.
Titled ‘COVID-19 AND ADOPTION OF DIGITAL ADMINISTRATION BY NIS FOR SERVICE DELIVERY’ the service said its men who were deployed to the borders remained there, performing their duties despite the pandemic in strict compliance with the protocols.
Read full release below
COVID-19 AND ADOPTION OF DIGITAL ADMINISTRATION BY NIS FOR SERVICE DELIVER
The global pandemic Covid-19 ravaging the world has brought alot of thinking into leadership and administration by Executives, from the time the first case was established in Nigeria in February 2020 when the Italian migrant attempted to enter Nigeria and was apprehended raising the fears of spread of a suppose endemic until the World Health Organization WHO declared it a Pandemic, every country and government of nations stepped up their health care machinaries and official declarations and directives suspending International flights and closing land borders, a measure that helped greatly in reducing the spread. Work places, business centres, Worship centres, Hospitality businesses were initially shutdown to curb person to person spread of the dreaded Covid-19.
2.The Nigeria Immigration Service under the dynamic leadership of Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service Muhammad Babandede MFR re-directed the ship of the service towards safe sailing all through the ravaging stages of Covid-19 when services were shutdown, the NIS continued to use digital technology to work while observing NCDC protocols of Social distancing, washing of hands, use of hand sanitizers and wearing of face mask among others to keep the operatives safe and protected both they and their families and the general public, at operational points the officers and men who are to carry out essential duties of safeguarding our entry points cannot vacate their duty posts to keep a safe border, safe nation, hence the deployment of Personal Protective Equipments PPEs mentioned earlier and to the Airports Table and face shields for those that are to clear passengers on arrival of evacuations of Nigerians back home and Non Nigerians back to their countries at the designated International Airports in Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport and Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport respectively and also to clear passengers on approved schedule special flights approved by the Aviation Ministry, while the Land Borders remain closed to avoid border crossing by migrants, these measures helped in stopping further spread from our neighbouring countries.
3.The NIS activities were digitalised by adopting e-systems and schedule operations particularly for critical services like passport and passenger clearance at the Airports designated during the lockdown, all the passport offices were temporarily closed to the public, while the officials were directed to clear the backlog for those captured before the lockdown to process and produce their passports and make it ready for collection whenever government eases the directive,all the passport offices in the 36 state commands and FCT, and missions abroad complied, services were restored after government reviewed the conditions and state of health situation and the lockdown order was eased a corresponding directive from the Comptroller General of Immigration to all the passport offices to commence gradual release of passports to those earlier enrolled by inviting them in batches via SMS, enrollment processes was also resumed for fresh cases and all other categories of passport issues, the airport evacuations both for Nigerian returnees and Foreign entities leaving Nigeria for their countries was adequately managed by the NIS operatives at MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos and NAIA, Abuja for the period of lockdown, MIDAS Migration Data Analysis System was deployed to capture Biometrics of travellers both incoming and out bound passengers at the two(2)International Airports in Abuja and Lagos, with the passengers Facial and thumb prints captured for official purpose and security reasons, this has helped in keeping track with National Security concerns during the lockdown period without compromising security.
4.Several projects were commissioned and meetings held virtually among them the NIS Kwara State Command Complex Commissioning, the Forward Operating Base Okuta, Kwara State, Virtual Launch of Test Begins with Me for Testing NIS personnel for Drugs and Substance Abuse, where the Comptroller General of Immigration was the first to be tested and result was shared to the media, he tested Negative to all the eleven(11)tests he was subjected to and directed that all his Deputies, Zonal and Command Comptrollers should do same to encourage their officers and men to comply, directive was also given to all the Passport officers nationwide and Attaches in missions abroad in a virtual meeting hosted by the Comptroller General of Immigration Muhammad Babandede on the new normal of operation and public expectations for NIS services at home and abroad during Covid-19.
5.In an effort to keep the the Communication flowing, the Comptroller General Monthly parade was redesigned by the CGI Babandede to communicate his directives through the Virtual Monthly Parade where only the Comptroller General, his Deputies and select heads of Directorates, Units and Comptroller General aides attends and the NIS band conducts the parade and the Comptroller General reads his address which is in turn communicated to the officers at the Service Headquarters, Zonal offices, State Commands by means of circular and electronic means broadcasted by the Public Relations Unit of the service, all geared at reaching out to the personnel spread across the country 36 State Commands and FCT, Special formations, 8 Zonal offices, 774 local governments and 52 missions abroad where NIS attachés are posted.
6.The Technology Building is the hub and legacy project of the Muhammad Babandede’s administration that will spur the digitization of the service activities when completed.
Signed:DCI JAMES SUNDAY, PCC Service Public Relations Officer, For Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service. 27th August 2020.