COVID-19: Immigration service digitalises activities – Babandede


MUHAMMAD Babandede, Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, has reiterated his resolve to digitalise the activities of the NIS. He said the adoption of digital administration would lead to quality service delivery.

In a statement made available to Realnews on Thursday, August 27, Babandede said the digitalization helped in re-directing the ship of the service towards safe sailing all through the ravaging stages of COVID-19, when services were shutdown. He said the NIS continued to use digital technology to work, while observing the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, 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.

According to him, at operational points the officers and men, who are to carry out essential duties of safeguarding entry points cannot vacate their duty posts to keep a safe border, safe nation, hence the deployment of Personal Protective Equipment PPEs to the airports 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.

NIS officials

“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 and 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,” he said.

Babandede said the service deployed Migration Data Analysis System to capture biometrics of travellers both incoming and out bound passengers at the international airports in Abuja and Lagos.

He noted that with the passenger’s facial and thumbprints captured for official purpose and security reasons, this has helped in keeping track of national security concerns during the lockdown period without compromising security.

– Aug. 27, 2020 @ 17:55 GMT |

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