The new boss of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Seme Command, Comptroller Mike Chukwuemeka Dike, has appealed to travelers commuting via Seme border to always transact business with officers of the Command rather than dealing with touts who usually lurked around the border area, even as he assured international travelers using the area of hitch-free movement across the border post.
He added that security of travelers, goods and general seamless operations were paramount to the Command.
Comptroller Dike gave the assurance on Thursday in a chat with the leadership of Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN), which visited him in his Seme Command office.
“I want to assure travelers using Seme border of free movement in and out of the country. This is why they should be dealing with our well trained officers rather than going to touts,” he said.
He explained that in terms of movement of people across the border, Nigeria Immigration Service was the lead agency whose personnel were well trained to handle people on transit.
According to him, that was why the system had been structured that it should be the Immigration officers that would first receive visitors on arrival and be the last to see them off on departure.
He stressed on this critical role of the NIS, pointing out that it was this aspect of the service’s job that could encourage or jeopardise the inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.
“Our roles at the nation’s frontiers are key to the inflow or otherwise of Foreign Direct Investment, FDI. That is why we are the first to receive visitors on arrival and the last to see them off at departure because if you treat them well, it will encourage them to come again.
“For an investor, who is bringing in his money to invest, and was poorly treated, would never come again. When such happens, the country loses such investment. That is why our role is critical not just to security but also the economic development of the country,” Dike asserted.
The Immigration boss, who only resumed at the Command recently, reiterated that the resolve of the Command to ensure a water-tight service delivery, was in line with the Comptroller General, Alhaji Isa Jere Idris’ three-point agenda- part of which is a hitch-free movement of travelers into and out of the country.
He, however, warned that while the Command was determined to make things easy for travelers in the course of their businesses, it would not compromise any act of use of imperfect documentation when it comes to doing the right thing.
The former Controller, Lagos State Border Patrol Command of NIS, disclosed that his boss, the Comptroller General, was putting every effort to ensure that Enhanced e-passport comes into existence all in a bid to have a seamless operation.
He equally hinted that border security was uppermost in the mind of his boss with the intention of eliminating smuggling of small arms into the country.
The Enugu State-born Comptroller, therefore, charged the media, especially MAJAN, to join hands with the service to achieve the objectives for which it was set.
While pleading for the cooperation of the media, he demanded for journalists’ understanding and urged them to avail the Command of any information that would aid its job.
He made it clear that the role of journalists in national development could not be overemphasised, stressing that they were immigration officers by default because of the job they did, part of which is similar to that of the service.