The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said the Federal Government has approved that all Africans could come to Nigeria without Visa from January 2020.
The Comptroller General, NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, disclosed this at the inauguration of the Africa–Frontex Intelligence Community (AFIC) on Wednesday in Abuja.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that European border and Coast guard Agency also known as Frontex is an agency of European Union (EU) tasked with border control of the European Schengen Area, in coordination with border and coast guard of Schengen area member states.
“The announcement would be made soon by the President of the Federation.
”But we cannot succeed without a tool like AFIC. This tool is key if we want to implement an effective free movement across our border.
“The tool is actually coming at the right time. AFIC would help African countries especially Nigeria that want to open its border for all Africans to enter at will. And now that tool is available, it would make the work easier for us,” he said.
Babandede said that it was important to acknowledge the different forces in Nigeria curbing crime and insecurity.
“But our duty is unique and you may not see it as it is in Chad, Benin or Cameroon.
“The essence is that we are very keen and we have been working with EU for a long time. Frontex is in charge of border before they got another responsibility called coast guard which is also very keen to Africa especially checking member state of ECOWAS,” he said.
The CGI commended the EU and Frontex delegates for establishing the risk analysis centre, adding that analysis could not be done physically without analytical system.
“I was opportune to be at the Frontex headquarters, and I came with useful tools which are for border and control centre.
”This has brought about the building of border and control centre which will be inaugurated next year. So the analytical system from Frontex, border control system and even mobility would all be in one place,” he said.
Babandede assured the delegates that the service would maintain the equipments and called for more training of officers.
“We assure you of the site maintenance if we have a technical know how of maintaining this system. We have done that with IOM very well.
”All the equipments donated for e-Migrants registration are already been installed by all our trained officers,” he said.
Roman Fantini, the head of sector, Frontex, assured the immigration service of training the officers as requested to help maintain the system and usage.
Fantini said that AFIC was not a new development as it started nine years ago and had since grown to what it was today.
He commended the EU and NIS for collaborating to ensure the security of the country.
Ms Eleni Zerzelidou, EU head of delegates, appreciated the immigration service for beefing up the collaboration by taking a step further to ensure border opening for all Africans by 2020.
Zerzelidou added that the EU would continually support the service in delivering its mandate and ensuring the safety of the country.
She said that the long standing partnership with NIS resulted into border management such as NIS border management strategy, MIDAS, among others.
“But we believe Frontex would do more to compliment all we have done so far in assisting the service and the county at large,” she said.
[FULL STATEMENT] Amotekun Not A Threat To National Unity — Tinubu
National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has finally broken his silence on the raging debate surrounding Amotekun, the regional security outfit recently created by South West governors.
In a statement released today Wednesday January 22nd, Tinubu faulted claims made by some Nigerians that the country will be put in great danger if Amotekun which was created to confront the insecurity in the South West states, is allowed to function.
According to him, Amotekun does not pose any threat to National unity.
Read his statement below:
“Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion. Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the Southwest have also lost their compass. Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate.”
The statement continues: “Amotekun. This issue has dominated recent discourse and media headlines. Distilled to its basics, it concerns how best state governments can assist with the safety and security of their residents. This is a matter of serious concern entitled to sober thought. However, it has been turned into a political tug-of-war. Fierce, often unthinking rhetoric, for and against, has crossed the lips of too many Nigerians. More subjective talking than objective thinking has been the fuel of this outburst.
Question those in favour of Amotekun. Most have but the vaguest notion about it. They know few details yet vigorously attribute to its opponents the most negative intentions. Ask those who oppose Amotekun. They are equally ignorant of its provisions. They oppose the initiative not on its merits but merely because it was proposed by their political opponents or because they don’t see an avenue for personal gain from it.
While colourful, the rhetoric has been disconcerting. How people have mishandled this matter demonstrates that we still have far to go in perfecting this democracy. Too much energy has been spent distorting this issue instead of seeking a resolution that supports local enhancement of security while keeping the constitution intact. If this becomes the standard for how we handle disagreements then we will obscure Nigeria’s path forward with our own rubbish.
In this matter, I do not see malign intent in the differences of opinion between the SW Governors as authors of Amotekun and the Attorney-General as the primary law enforcement officer of the Federal Government. Shorn of the overly dramatic language, what lies before us is but a step in the evolution of our federalism. This is an opportunity to more clearly define that federalism; but one cannot attain this better, more functional definition through overblown, emotional language. Objectivity and calmness are required. To a significant degree, the enduring quality of our republic will be established by the sagacity with which we handle disagreements regarding the division of power between federal and state governments. Such disagreements are inevitable. This is not the first. Nor will it be the last. We must devote our energies more toward solving problems rather than amplifying them.
Seeking to fulfil their mandates by helping protect their people, the governors of the Southwest collectively established a program to buttress existing security mechanisms. Seeking to protect the constitution as best he could, the Attorney-General offered his opinion on what he believed the governors have sought to do. No one can blame either party for seeking to fulfil what they genuinely see as their public duty.
Until now, I have deliberately maintained a studied silence regarding Amotekun. Many have tried to goad my swift public reaction. Those who have taken this road did so not because they care about Amotekun or even the people it intends to help protect. They did so knowing this had become a delicate and emotional issue for many. These cynics did so with the adversarial hope that, in haste, I might misspeak or misstep in a manner they could twist to their political advantage.
Such people are possessed of a mercenary aspect that permits them to sacrifice almost anything, even jeopardize the very foundations of our political unity, if they might exact personal gain from the upheaval. In that they know no nobler purpose than their own appetites, we should feel sorry for them. However, we must not allow our sympathies for their barren condition to persuade us that there is worth in their destructive misconduct. They must be left to the consequences of their own devices.
If truly I am a political leader as I am often described, then I have not the luxury of hasty, ill-conceived utterances. There are those who will use inflamed words to spark the passions of others. This may bring transient applause. But when the cheers fade, we shall only have further descended because their words were never inclined toward resolution and long-term improvement but toward short-term popularity and perpetual confrontation.
I believe in this nation and its benign prospects. I dearly love its people, all of them. Over the years of our existence, they have suffered much. Yet they still hold forth with heroic patience and an extraordinary optimism born of strong faith. To these people I owe my best. I shall not treat them cheaply or bandy their emotions like some errant football. The welfare of this good and decent people is my overriding concern.
Equally, I do not cow to the demands of those who press for me to make a premature statement on an important issue. Again, that is a game devised by those who care more about political cleverness than the quality of governance. I chose to talk when my position has been made ripe by a collection of the facts and a reasonable assessment of those facts.”
BREAKING: Tinubu Finally Breaks Silence On ‘Amotekun’ Operation
A national leader of the All Progressive Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has finally reacted on the southwest security network codenamed ‘Amotekun Operation’
Recall that in the past weeks, there have been a raging debate on Amotekun, the regional security outfit established by governors of the south-west zone.
Meanwhile, Tinubu while dishing out his view said the foundation of the country had not been put at risk with the south-west regional security outfit launched by the governors of the zone in a bid to confront the insecurity in their states.
He said this in a statement signed by him and issued on Wednesday.
US Govt Plans To Add Nigeria To Travel Ban List
A new executive order which President Donald Trump might sign soon, will see Nigeria and 6 other countries being added to a travel ban list.
Though the list is not final and might change, however citizens of Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania will face bans on some visa categories if the executive order is signed.
In an interview with Wall Street Journal, Donald Trump disclosed that he is considering adding some countries to the travel ban list but he wasn’t specific about the affected countries.
Commenting on the travel ban list, a senior official in the Trump administration said countries that failed to comply with security requirements, including biometrics, information-sharing and counter-terrorism measures, faced the risk of limitations on U.S. immigration.
Citizens of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as some Venezuelan officials and their relatives are blocked from obtaining a large range of U.S. immigrant and non-immigrant visas in the current version of the ban.