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Nigeria Immigration Service Clocks 60,as Imo Govt, Others Celebrate.

The Immigration service has gone beyond the sky.

Nigeria Immigration Service Clocks 60,as Imo Govt, Others Celebrate.

-By Iheanyi Enwerem, Owerri.

Imo State Government has appreciated the Nigerian Immigration Service for its invaluable contributions to the security of the state, while challenging it to do more in checkmating illegal migration into the country.

This commendation was made by Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma in his address during the 60th year anniversary celebration of the Nigerian Immigration Service, at the Golden Tulip, Hotel, off Port Harcourt Road, Owerri, Tuesday.

The Governor who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Placid Njoku, said the Imo State Government is appreciative of the contributions of the Nigerian Immigration Service to the joint security operations in the state, expressing optimism that with their continuous contribution, the issue of insecurity will soon be a thing of the past in the state.

He described the Nigeria Immigration as a critical service in the governance of Nigeria, as its officers regulate entry and exit into and from Nigeria, are responsible for managing the borders, which is a very essential component of the Nigerian security architecture.

He expressed the satisfaction of the state government with the progress which the service has made, utilizing resources at its disposal to ensure control of people who come into the country and appreciated them for the marked improvement in the Nigerian passport.
The deputy governor however challenged officers and men of the service to be more proactive on the issue of illegal migration into the country, as some people whose intentions of entering the country are not clear, sneak in through the country’s porous borders.
Adding his voice the Imo State Commissioner for Special Duties Chief Dr. Okey Anukwuem who was also present at the epoch making event poured encomiums on the paramilitary agency stating that they brought credibility with the updated International Passport of Nigeria, which he said can not be manipulated as was the scenario in past years.

The Governor’s aide praised the Immigration Service for their contribution towards the fight against insecurity in South East and Nigeria at large, while he congratulated them he tasked them to continue projecting national unity and development in the society.
Earlier in their separate addresses, Assistant Controller of Immigration Service, in charge of zone E, Owerri, Mrs Uju Angela Elo Okoye and the Controller of Immigration, Imo State, Nkechi Ezugwu, went down memory lane to trace the history of the service which served as a branch of the Nigerian Police before it was made a separate entity in 1958.
They said the service is saddled with the responsibility of migration management, in terms of migrants coming in and going out, travel documents, including passport issued in Nigeria and outside the country, to bonafide Nigerians.
Other responsibility of the service as enumerated by the commanders include; issuance of resident permit to foreigners in Nigeria, border patrol, surveillance, enactment of laws for the regulations which it is directly charged.
They said the service has upgraded the migrant information data analysis, improved the passport issuance, from machine readable machine in 1988 till date, when a lot of technological innovations have been carried out, enhanced E passport, with lots of security features.

They said the service has gone ahead to introduce three different categories of passport; short visit passport, temporary resident passport and permanent resident passport, migrants E registration/verification, especially for ECOWAS member states, Electronic passengers registration system, among others.
Receiving his award former Nigeria Minister of Interior Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho

Former Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho described the sixty years existence of the service as one packed with achievements, expressing joy in being able to celebrate with them and also receiving the award.

“It is an absolutely wonderful service, one that I was very proud of when I was the Honourable Minister of Interior.

“In the beginning they had a very modest target they had to achieve, which was border security and migration management. But what have they achieved today. It is like every day of the last 60 years, they have been innovative, they are absolutely wonderful people”.

He acknowledged that the service has given women a conducive atmosphere to thrive, as the three categories of its leaders; National, zonal and state Controllers recognized at the occasion were women and have utilized their ingenuity for the wonderful achievements the service has been recording.

“They (the Immigration service) has gone beyond the sky, because every year that they are in existence, they think up new things they can do. They were not originally established to make money for the government, but they have made billions in dollars and in naira.

“I want to say to you, ladies and gentlemen of the service, that Captain Iheanacho has always been proud of you. I was proud of you when I was the Honourable Minister of of Interior, I remain proud of you after I left government and now that I have come down to attend this function, it is a validation of the reason I feel so proud of you”, Captain Iheanacho enthused.
Other dignitaries at the occasion included; Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Chike Olemgbe, (represented), Heads of almost all sister security agencies in the state, the clergy, traditional rulers, representative of corporate bodies in the state, among others.

Highpoint of the occasion was the cutting of the anniversary cake and presentation of awards.

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OGENE Ndigbo Newspaper is a news publishing company registered in Nigeria as a national newspaper with ISSN: 2659-157X. The newspaper is also known as OgeneNews with the head office in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, trading as Techon Communication Nig Ltd.

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