NIWA, immigration service to deepen synergy to curb illegal migration

By Seun Ibiyemi

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) plan to strengthen their partnership to curb illegal migration via the Lagos State waterways.

The plan to deepen partnership was discussed when the new Comptroller of Immigration Service in-charge of Lagos Seaports and Marine Command, CIS Joseph Dada visited the NIWA Lagos Area Manager, Mrs Sarat Braimah, on Thursday in Lagos.

Speaking at the meeting, Dada observed that the service would fare better in achieving its mandate with a strategic partnership with the waterways regulator.

“We have some challenges on the waterways, even though we do patrols. Collaborating with NIWA will guarantee stronger waterway operations.

“We are not saying people shouldn’t migrate or ‘japa’ from Nigeria. Migration is part of life and people have a right to seek greener pastures.

“However, they must do it the right way. They have to get their passports, visas and travel through the appropriate channels,” he said.

The Immigration boss lamented that several Nigerian ladies are victims of human trafficking for prostitution usually disguised as job offers for care workers abroad.

Responding, Braimah welcomed the idea of strategic collaboration with the NIS, stressing that both agencies are working for the common good of Nigeria and its citizens.

“We expect this collaboration to prohibit illegal migration. Migration is part of life and as you observed earlier it fosters tourism, culture and development.

“Nonetheless, we will assist the NIS in achieving their objective which is that people shouldn’t migrate illegally.

“A lot of passengers board ferries from Marina jetty to Badagry and Port Novo. We don’t know their final destination or verify their identity; but we’re open to NIS partnership to carry out migration checks,” she said.

She noted that NIWA could train immigration officials on how to go onboard vessels safely, and also provide boats, life-jackets, among other equipment when the Immigration make such requests.

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