By Justina Auta
The International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP) in Nigeria has supported the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) with a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) tool to combat the smuggling of migrants in the country.
The Comptroller-General (CG), NIS, Muhammed Babandede, while unveiling the tool and inaugurating members of the committee on Thursday in Abuja, said it would contribute to global security and fight transnational crime.
“The NIS is committed to implementing the SOP tool to combat the smuggling of migrants so, that we can contribute to global security and also fight transnational crime.
“Many are being smuggled and died on the way, many are being smuggled and end up doing wrong job abroad, and many are being smuggled and end up losing their dignity and create problems.
“Hence, the need for all law enforcement agents to collaborate towards ending crime, smuggling of migrants and other vices in the country.
“This is important because the law enforcement needs to be guided, it is not enough to have a law but you need to have a guide to effectively implement the law,” he said.
Babandede, while reiterating the commitment of NIS towards combating the smuggling of migrants, stressed the need for all law enforcement agencies to collaborate in fighting the menace and securing the nation.
The Project Team Leader, Rafael Molina, said that the document would be effective in combating the smuggling of migrants into Nigeria and ensuring the implementation of laws around it.
“With this tool funded by the European Union. We are given to the officer in the frontline the capacity to have a tool to work together in their daily work.
Molina, stressed the need for all law enforcement agencies, especially those working in the border to work together to tackle smuggling in Nigeria.
He revealed that the organisations would train the officers, as well as provide resource materials to ensure its success.
“The main objective of this programme is to work together tackling trafficking and smuggling and also to share with the youths and Nigerian people to increase awareness on the risk in smuggling and how to tackle the crime,’’ he said.
Also, EU representative, Eleni Zetzelidou, commended the Nigerian government for their resilience and commitment towards eliminating the practice of smuggling migrants into the country.
Zetzelidou said, Nigeria being the first country in West Africa to sign the smuggling bill, thereby criminalising the practice shows their commitment towards ending it.
“We hope these documents will be put into good use by NIS officials especially by those at the borders and we hope that the agency can make the best use out of it together with other agencies working at the borders such as NAPTIP and the NDLEA.
“We certainly need the partnership and commitment from all agencies at the border and from our side, we are very happy to see this document validated,’’ she said.