NIS vows support for NIMC on migrant refugees in Cross River

Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Cross River state Command, has assured the National Commission (NIMC), Cross River state office, of its readiness to assist the Commission wherever necessary and when called upon.
The Comptroller, Mr. Felix Uche, gave the assurance in Calabar at the weekend when he received the Commission’s team on a courtesy visit.
He said: “We are ready to partner with you to get things done in the right way. All our neighbors have cards; it is only in Nigeria that we do not have a National . That is why our men are subjected to all kinds of tactics to get the job done.
“We are really concerned as to the slow pace which the issuance of National Number (NIN) is going. So I think NIMC should do the needful. You should expedite action on this card issue. Call on me anytime you need our assistance. “We will help you to ensure that Nigerians get these cards.”
Earlier, the Head of NIMC in the state, Mr. Godwin Odey, said they were at the Command to appeal for continued collaboration with NIS in identifying migrant refugees, especially from the Southern Cameroun into the state.
He said there was no way Nigeria could achieve effective National Security without an effective National Identity.
“Cross River has a very expansive border with Republic of the Cameroons. In fact, in some local government areas, it is very difficult to differentiate who is a Cross Riverian and a Cameroonian.
“They speak the same language and have the same culture and tradition, so we need a synergy with the immigration and other sister agencies to help us in identifying these people.
“This has become even more serious now that there are many of them coming into Cross River in all directions because of the current crisis in that country.
“That is why we are here, if there is anytime we really need the collaboration of Immigration service, it is now.”
The NIMC’s head commended the Cross River state command of the NIS for their assistance so far by insisting that prospective applicants for International Passport must obtain NIN number before they were issued.
Odey blamed the slow pace of issuance of the NIN cards to lack of proper funding, adding that the Commission was “exploring every available options, including partnership with non-governmental organisations, to move forward.” (NAN)

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