The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Mr David Parradang, says the ineffective management of Nigeria’s borders and influx of illegal immigrants are largely responsible for the increasing attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents in the north-east.
The Immigration boss said that additional 30 patrol units and 27 patrol bases had been established as part of effort by the service to effectively secure the nation’s borders.
He also said that over 25,000 additional personnel were needed in the service for effective policing of all the nation’s borders.
On his part, Governor Muktar Yero of Kaduna State commended the Nigerian Immigration Service for taking measures in securing the nation’s porous borders which he said had contributed to the increasing insurgency in the north-east.
The governor, who was represented by the state’s Head of Service, called on the graduating officers to make use of what they had learnt in improving their capacity and safeguarding the nation’s borders.
The 500 Nigerian Immigration Service officials drawn from various commands and formation across Nigeria were specially trained to provide adequate security to Nigerian borders said to be highly porous over the years.
The event started with a ‘colour march pass’ displayed by the officers and a further display of skills they had acquired during their training.
For two weeks, the officials were trained on techniques of apprehending illegal immigrants and checking documents, importation of illegal arms, martial arts, unarmed combat, border incursions, intelligence gathering, security awareness, self-defence and liaising with other security agencies in identifying people, illegal immigrants and goods into the country.
The first batch of 1,000 officials were trained in May this year and have since been deployed across the various border formations.
The Service presently has a total of 22,321 staff and its enormous statutory obligations coupled with emerging migration trends and trajectories make this number of personnel grossly inadequate. The nun-demarcated and poorly marked borders make settlement of people in border communities intertwined and stringent control by the service apparently difficult.
Mr Parradang said the training was very vital, as it enhanced the capacity of the officers to discharge their mandate effectively.
He also urged them to see the task ahead of them as part of their own contribution to the revival of the nation, warning that the service will not condone any from of indiscipline from any officer.
The Border Patrol Unit of the Nigerian Immigration Service was established by the Federal Government in 2013 in line with the present Comptroller General’s determination to effectively manage and secure the nation’s porous land borders.
With the incursion of the Boko Haram insurgents in the north-east, Nigeria’s borders need to be well monitored by security agencies at this time. In the last five years, the terrorist group has carried out series of attacks on villages, churches, Mosques and schools in the north-east, killing thousands of innocent people.
With the deployment of new officials to the field, it is expected that they will contribute their quota towards safe guarding the territorial integrity of Nigeria and also seriously prevent any form of illegal Immigration of persons or goods into Nigeria.