By Deborah Coker
The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Edo Command, said on Saturday that it issued not less than 22,650 passports between January and June.
Mr Kayode Eniolorunda, the State Comptroller of the Service, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin.
Eniolorunda also disclosed that within the period, the command issued 1,380 ECOWAS Travel Certificates (ETCs), and 101 Combined Expatriate Resident Permit and Alien Cards (CERPACs).
He further said that 23 Resident Certificates and 42 E-pass extension were issued while regularisation of migration with 22 arrivals and 24 departures were recorded by the command within the period.
The state comptroller also said that the command had continued to witness tremendous growth and improvement in its responsibilities with direct bearings on the citizens of the state.
He explained that within the period under review, 79 personnel of the command comprising 57 senior officers and 22 junior officers were promoted.
He stressed that an initiative by the command which had made acquiring a passport within 48 hours had greatly increased the number of applications for passport in the state.
Eniolorunda further said the command would soon key into the recent reforms initiated by the Comptroller General of Immigration (CGI), Muhammad Babandede.
He told NAN that some of the reforms included the e-migrant registration policy which was inaugurated at the NIS headquarters on Friday.
According to him, the policy stipulates that all migrants in the country will be registered with a view to enabling the NIS to having their data.
The state comptroller of the service said that by law, the CGI was required to have a migrant register.
He noted that the migrants, however, had three months amnesty or time of grace after which strict enforcement would be carried out and defaulters sanctioned.
Other reforms, he said, were the Visa on Arrival policy as well as the issuance of Conventional Travel Document or Refugee Passport.
Eniolorunda said that the document was an internationally recognised travel document.
The NIS Edo command boss said that in curtailing human trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants (SoM), the command was doing well
He said this was due to effective collaboration of the command’s Irregular Migration Section with the state Task Force on Irregular Migration and Human Trafficking as well as the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). (NAN)