The Controller of Immigration, Seme Border Area command, Comptroller Dominic Obetta Asogwa has faulted the Federal Government’s immigration policy especially as it relates to her West Africa neighbours who he said gain entry into the country without the necessary documents to allow them do so adding that the disposition of the government on this matter is robbing off on her citizens.
Asogwa who noted this while playing host to a group of freight forwarders who paid him a courtesy visit in his office recently disclosed that most of Nigeria’s West African neighbours treated Nigerians with disdain in their own countries on grounds of not possessing relevant documents saying that Ghana for instance, had repatriated a lot of Nigerians in the last one year alone on grounds of illegal stay.
He said,” Since February last year, we have received an average of 400 to 500 Nigerians repatriated from Ghana for doing nothing on daily basis almost and some people are still encouraging our people to go to Ghana and do business and when they catch them, they don’t allow them to pick their things, they will send them back. As a matter of fact, they are repatriated for illegal stay.
“But here, we will be romancing with these people. When an Immigration officer will ask who is this person and he will say a Togolese and you ask where is your passport, he will say he is an ECOWAS member, and you will just trivialize it like that but look at what they are doing to our own and that is why we are here to manage ourselves and monitor and control movement of persons in accordance with extant laws, rules and regulations”.
The Comptroller however posited that one cardinal thing he had achieved since assuming office at the border was to curtail smuggling of persons and trafficking of persons within the area adding that he doesn’t cherish it at all.
He therefore appealed to the freight forwarders to help him by volunteering information to him adding that it was not only the children of the less privileged that were into the business but also children of the rich.
“So, the duty is on every one of us, don’t say you are not concerned, it could be the daughter of your friend. So, our duty is to educate them that there are consequences that follow such action. Sometimes they travel without some travel documents and they have their organs harvested and sold. They do it on daily basis and they pass through here and you and I are working here, if you see it you will say it is not your business, it is Immigrations’ and you can’t inform Immigrations, you are concerned about chasing your business. So, we have to partner to fight some of these criminalities, it is not an agency affair”, he pleaded.
Photo: Comptroller General of Immigration, Babandede.
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