The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has issued about three million electronic passports to Nigerians between 2007, when the new passport was introduced, and February 2011.
Comptroller-General of NIS, Mrs Rose Uzoma, made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja while speaking with our correspondent.
“I know we have issued a little less than three million electronic passports from 2007 to date. As we speak we are also giving permits to foreigners.
“Recently we have started registration of Africans and ECOWAS nationals. We didn’t have their data, but they are also foreigners.
“ We had to borrow the equipment from INEC that they used in the previous voter registration; re-programmed them and we gave them to all our local government area officers for them to take biometric data of all those Africans in our midst.
“At the last count we had about 400,000 non-Africans residing legally in Nigeria.’’
The NIS Comptroller-General said that one of the major challenges confronting the service was the attitude of some Nigerians as regards the processing of the passports.
She said that the challenge derived from the fact that most Nigerians didn’t like to fill forms either for their passports, or for other necessary documents.
“Many prefer to use middlemen to do something as simple as filling a form and in a lot of cases the middlemen fill the forms incorrectly, missing out some details.
Uzoma added that Nigerians also didn’t like to take responsibility for processing their travel documents and preferred to use middlemen, which often times, led to the problem of visa refusals at embassies.
She advised that Nigerians should be sensitised to understand that they had to conform with international best practices, especially when they planned to travel to other parts of the world.
Uzoma also said that the NIS had acquired the best technology to detect falsified age declaration and some other details, including the change of names when a dishonest applicant applied for a passport while claiming that he or she never took one in the past.
She said that when the immigration service took fingerprints in its machines, the computer would bring out the name of the original owner of those fingerprints and when they matched those of the applicant, such person would be revealed as having once obtained a passport.
The Comptroller-General also disclosed that the service apprehended 67 immigrants who registered as potential voters at the just-concluded voters registration and handed them over to the police.
“About 67 on the whole were arrested and handed over to the police. We have this ECOWAS protocol on free movement of persons which allows member state citizens to enter our country, get visa at the port of entry and leave amongst us provided they have their valid documents.
“Those member citizens, when once they have followed due process, they enjoy equal rights with Nigerians and if they choose to go against the law, they should be looked at just as we look at fellow citizens.
“Those who manage to register and who the watchful immigration officers arrested, we handed over to the police just like any Nigerian who did something against the INEC laws were also handed over to the police,’’ she said.
Uzoma assured that immigration officers would continue to work assiduously to ensure that the country’s borders remained impregnable by illegal immigrants.
She explained that officers posted to the various borders had been trained to effectively discharge their duties.
She said that it wouldn’t help to say that all immigration officers had done excellently well, but it was noteworthy that they had stopped many would-be illegal immigrants and this would continue to be the case.
“The officers are posted at the borders to be stopping people who want to come in through irregular routes and processing the documents of those who want to come in through the manned post,’’ she said.
Uzoma commended the Nigeria Customs Service for stopping the shipment of arms through the borders, particularly on Oct. 23, 2010 when its officers impounded a cache of arms of ammunition that was routed through the Apapa port in Lagos.
She said that, together, all security agencies at the border posts had been cooperating to ensure that Nigeria was not vulnerable to people who would constitute a nuisance or become national security risks.
Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority
The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja.
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years.
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.
By: Corlins Walter
Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage – NEITI
Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.
Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies
Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains.
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives.
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area.
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.
By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies
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