- BY EMMANUEL EDOM in Lagos•
Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), has upgraded and promoted some of its personnel at its Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos Office.
This is even as the Assistant Controller General and Zonal Coordinator in charge of Zone A, Muhammed Alhaji Alfa, last Thursday announced that NIS would commence the registration of foreigners resident in Lagos.
According to him, it is only the foreigners who have been living in Nigeria for more than 90 days that are expected to register with Nigeria Immigration Services.
Alfa who made this call while decorating the newly upgraded and promoted officers at his Zonal office in Ikeja, Lagos, reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari amnesty for foreigners who are living in Nigeria illegally, saying they are permitted to stay, if they have appeared before immigration for registration.
He further stated that illegal immigrants would be given amnesty and the penalty expected to pay would be waived
“If you are a resident in Nigeria and you have not been able to renew your residents card within the period of 6 months of amnesty, you are free to register with Immigration service because amnesty covers you.”
Continued he, “if you are in Nigeria for temporary work permit or business permit or you are in the country for Visa on arrival and you are not able to extend your stay after the expiration of visa, it is irregular.
“We are telling all Non Nigeria in our midst with irregular situation to come forward and they will not be compelled to pay penalty, because the period of Mr. President amnesty has covered you.
“This will go down to give us precisely the accurate number of expert rate and non Nigeria in our midst.
He said that, “this is a wonderful development that has been practiced outside of Nigeria successfully and we do hope that it will be more successful by the time we embarked on it.
“It is important that officers and men are to discuss it with traditional rulers, neighbours, family and friends, as to the importance of the exercise, to indicate non-Nigerians who are residing in their communities, to encourage them to come forward to register.
“They should not entertain any fear that they have been staying in Nigeria irregularly and probably they will compel you to pay penalty.
“Very important aspect of the registration is that you are expected to register in the area where you resides. for instance, those that live around Ikoyi, will register at our Lagos State Command, Alagbon and those that lives around Ikeja will come to our Zonal Office to register.
“If you are caught with invalid papers the law will be allowed to take its cause,” Alfa said.
He added that, quite a number of security challenges we have in this country, is as result of non Nigerian residents and it would be very unwise at this point in time, if we don’t know who is a Nigerian and who are non Nigerians.
“There are people who have been living in this country for well over 2 to 3years hiding and they hardly come out during the day because their papers are not correct.
“Government is now telling you that the exercise is not in essence to penalised you but rather to have your records as database o know where you resides and what business you are doing.
However, the NIS boss, warned the officers who were just upgraded and promoted, that “It is not just about upgrading and promotion but there are a lot of responsibility attached to all of this, particularly to those of you who are just upgraded, remember you were a junior officers at one time, everyday you give complement, but suddenly you jumped from junior officer to senior officer, because sometimes you will expect that your colleagues who are junior officer like you were, will not recognized the fact that you are now senior officer and if they did not pay you compliment ,don’t be crazy at then, but with time they will get adjusted.
Alfa congratulated the officers, stating that five officers where upgraded and two promoted.