By Harris Emanuel
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Rivers State Command says it has commenced a statewide operation and intelligence gathering on irregular migrants operating in the state.
The State Comptroller James Sunday, PCC, who disclosed this, stated that the operation became necessary in view of cases discovered through intelligence gathering and activities of its operatives in the intelligence and surveillance section of the investigation and compliance unit of the command.
It was gathered that the Command discovered connivance, abuses and deliberate attempts by syndicates that specialises in extorting expatriates for irregularities in their residency and work permits and promising them cover from the service apprehension and arrest.
To this end, the Service has constituted a team to embark on the coded scheme ” Operation Guguwa” to carry out intelligence gathering, spot checks and investigate reported cases for proper documentation, profiling and investigation and recommendations for appropriate sanctioning by the service headquarters,Abuja.
“The Service mandates of Monitoring and Control of entry and exit, residency and work operations of non Nigerians, expatriates on company quota, those on Temporary Work Permit (TWP), potential investors on Business Visa or other related visas including Visitors Pass, and any other permits recognised by the service inline with the Immigration Act 2015 and other extant immigration laws…
“The Command has commenced in ernest and it is yielding positive results, as locations are being visited and intelligence gathered is being deployed for successful apprehension of suspects and those alleged to be involved in abuses of relevant immigration provisionsr, he said.
He added: “Officers and Men of the command involved in any act contrary to their expected roles and responsibilities are warned to take dressing and allow the system to work as an institution, collaboration to deny government of revenues, extortion, diversion of operational works from the state Command to other states when the Mother company or operational base is in Rivers State will no longer be condoned or tolerated…
“Every state Command has its area of jurisdiction and limitations, expatriates within Rivers are advised to process and regularise their documents through the command and the command will through appropriate channel forward requests to either the Service Headquarters, Abuja or the Zonal Office as the case may be…
“But circumventing or undermining the role of the State Command will only amount to abuse of due diligence process and the command will not entertain cases of extortion or infringement by unauthorised individuals or group in the regularisation of stay, visa process and endorsement and other facilities at the disposal of the state Command.
“I like manner touts at the passport office Annex are warned to stay clear and allow applicants get the best service and treat,cases of extortions and undue delay in processing passport for applicants through interference by third party or touts , will not be condoned as internal checker and intelligence machinery has been put in place for the good image of the service and the Command. “