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Poised to enhance a robust relationship with communities in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria, the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, has been sensitizing traditional and religious leaders on the importance of upholding migration rules and regulations. 

The Comptroller of Immigration Service, Cross River State Command, Mr Christopher Baikie made this known during an interaction with some journalists in Calabar, the capital of the state. 

Baikie, who was in the company of top officers within the command, said that the NIS “made it a point of duty to reach out to members of the communities such as the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu, the Fifth and others. We embarked on intensive sensitization to have a good relationship with the people. 

“The NIS is humane in its approach and that is why we choose to resolve matters with diplomacy. During our engagements with the Nigerien community and others, we charge them to uphold migration rules and regulations,” said Baikie. 

According to him, “we also have effective collaborations with other security agencies in the State as well as companies, hoteliers and the state government. All these relationship building is for effective service delivery.” 

Tackling challenges 

The Comptroller further explained that the command was pursuing other projects such as the establishment of jetties to enhance marine patrol, acquisition of 33.4 hectares of land to build a suitable barracks for its growing number of personnel and operational vehicles. 

He stated within the command personnel at different levels participated in several capacity-building programmes to meet global best practices, while the present grossly inadequate State Command premises was renovated. 

“We hold regular capacity development programmes for our officers and men within the command in line with the best international practices. To instil discipline, we have taken steps to renovate office spaces and other measures, while making concerted efforts to get better land for a befitting command headquarters. 

“We need a suitable command of not less than 33.4 hectares of land to build a standard barracks for the NIS Cross River Command. The NIS has since outgrown the small premises. We need adequate office space to further enhance our operational efficiency. So, we are doing everything possible to get the land allocated to NIS as well as the relevant papers. 

“We have also reached out to the state government to assist us with vehicles, gunboats and other logistics to enhance patrol of our land and maritime borders. You know the Cross River terrain, transportation is really essential,” he said. 

Uncollected passport  

Meanwhile, 2,560 Nigerian International passports have been abandoned at the NIS office in Calabar. 

The Passport Control Officer, Mrs Clementina Ogbudu said that most of the passports date back to 2019. 

Ogbudu stated, “we have 2,560 international passports uncollected in our Calabar office. Applicants will pay for it, go through all the processes, but when the passports are ready for collection, they will not come back again.”  

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