The Minister of the Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and the Acting Comptroller General of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Isah Idris, have told the agency’s 548 newly inducted cadets that the “primary reason for their employment is the security of Nigeria’s territorial borders.”
They reiterated the point in a statement issued Wednesday and signed on Idris’s behalf by NIS public relations officer Amos Okpu, a deputy comptroller of immigration.
Okpu said the duo spoke Tuesday during the cadet parade at the Immigrant Training School in Kano, Kano state.
He said the parade was held for the 47 cadets of the Superintendent’s Basic Course after an intensive six-month period of physical exercises and academic training.
Delivering his message to the cadets, Mr. Aregbesola said that the integrity of Nigeria’s borders is the responsibility of the NIS and urged the new recruits to keep in mind that protecting Nigeria against intruders, aggressors and intruders is their main responsibility.
The minister, who was the official reviewer of the parade, was represented by a Commissioner of the Civil Protection, Corrections, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB), Emmanuel Bassey, a retired Major General.
Some of the cadets on parade during the passing out ceremony at the training school in Kano on Tuesday.
He said; “Your involvement with the Nigerian Immigration Service reaffirms the government’s commitment to strengthening our internal security, of which our borders are an integral part. Without secure borders, no security measures can work. Criminal-minded outsiders can infiltrate the country and escape at will, if the borders are not well-protected. Deadly diseases are also transmitted from one country to another through cross-border movements. This is why national borders were closed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, completely grounding the aviation industry and other international modes of transportation.
“Even the economic security of a people is threatened when borders are not properly guarded.
“As you have been taught, your primary mission is to guard the nation’s borders. Any other task is secondary. This must sit deep within you and resonate with your archetype: keep bad people out of our country and encourage good people to come in. No harm should come to our nation under his rule.”
He urged them to be disciplined, even as he quoted the late sage Obafemi Awolowo, who said that “the strength of any military organization lies not in its size but in its discipline.”
Technology to the rescue
For his part, the acting comptroller general, who has constantly emphasized the large number of illegal routes into the country, said that the adoption of technology by his agency remains the best strategy to adequately address the borders.
Mr. Idris, who encouraged the new cadets to improve their technical and technological skills, said that the ongoing implementation of the electronic border management system will soon eliminate the challenges currently identified with the system.
He said; “We are restructuring our border security structures following the adoption of the eBorder project, which would require a massive deployment of human and ICT logistics for effective border security operations at checkpoints.
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“We will supplement this with reinvigorated patrols on the flanks of the border with the goal of keeping unwanted immigrants out. Upon graduating from this institution today, I assure you that you will be needed at forward operating bases and border checkpoints to offer your contributions to our country.”
Isah added that the agency is also improving the combat readiness of border patrol personnel “especially with the recent 250-person training exercise in Sokoto state.”
He said many of them have been successfully deployed in border formations across the country.
“As I mentioned earlier, we are giving big prizes to border security and to this end I started operational visits to our border checkpoints with my recent visit to some of our blue border formations in Akwa Ibom state. We will continue this effort, especially with the e-Border project”, he added.
Meanwhile, the officials also advised the new cadets to avoid corrupt practices and be hard-working. They said that because the agency values and rewards integrity and commitment to the job, it spares no stick when its men fall short.
The acting comptroller general said; “It is instructive to inform you that we have robust consequence management mechanisms in place to address all forms of conduct/activities. While good conduct and performance will be handsomely rewarded, misconduct and other offenses against discipline will receive appropriate sanctions in accordance with current public service rules and paramilitary ethics.”
Therefore, he urged the cadets to avoid all forms of violent practices and corruption.
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