The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Martins Abeshi, says said the service generated N19. 4 billion between January and October 2015 as part of its renewed revenue drive.
Abeshi disclosed this on Thursday when the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, visited the NIS as part of his familiarisation tour of parastatals under his ministry.
According to him, a total of N9, 788, 969,705 was generated from passports/operations, while N9, 676, 474, 587 was generated from the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien’s Card (CERPAC) within the period.
He said that apart from the passport processing offices in the country, the CERPAC production centres had been increased to cover all states of the federation and the Onne Free Trade Zone in Rivers.
Abeshi said that about 24.6 million dollars was also generated from the service’s passports/visa operations abroad during the period under review.
He said in spite of the revenue generated, the Service was facing a lot of challenges which included poor funding, especially in the area of funding its capital projects.
“Over the years, the NIS has been contending with poor funding, especially for capital projects for construction of border control plazas/automation of control posts.
“Lack of modern communication equipment and security gadgets such as sensors and alarm systems and surveillance cameras to cover the flanks through which irregular migration occurs, is also a major challenge,’’ he said.
He said the expansive and unstructured nature of Nigeria’s border made border management an herculean task, but pledged the commitment of NIS officers to redouble their efforts in line with Federal Government’s change agenda.
On the botched recruitment where some applicants lost their lives, the comptroller-general said that the NIS was ready to conduct and absorb new officers as soon as it got directive from the Federal Government.
He also said that the Service needed about 5,000 personnel annually for the next five years to meet its manpower capacity.
The Immigration boss pledged to ensure professionalism in the service in line with international best practice and the federal government’s Change Agenda.
Earlier, Dambazau said the familiarisation tour was part of efforts by the federal government to reposition the NIS and other parastatals under the ministry in line with global best practice.
Danbazau described the NIS as very strategic to internal security and warned on the need for officers and men to be more professional and diligent in the discharge of their duty.
The minister also stressed the need for adequate border security in order to check the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the prevention of people with ulterior motives entering the country.
He assured of improved welfare and provision of modern facilities for officers and men of the service, while warning of sanctions for corrupt and indolent officers.