By Ikenna Osuoha
A Spanish public foundation, International and Ibero-America Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), says it has started training of officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) on how to combat smuggling and trafficking.
FIIAPP is currently working on a project in Nigeria tagged: “Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria (A-TIPSOM)”, a project aimed at reducing the menace.
The foundation Coordinator, Mr Jose Andeme, made this known at the ongoing three-day workshop for NIS officers to sensitise them on Immigration Act, 2015 and Immigration Regulations, 2017 on Monday in Abuja.
Andeme said the workshop was to support NIS efforts for better performance in combating trafficking and smuggling, and to have a better understanding of the Act that regulates its activities.
He said the training was organised to support NIS and build its capacity, adding that smuggling and trafficking activities were on the increase in the country.
According to him, I will say that our immediate output for this training is to have NIS official with clear understanding of what their mandate is and how to fulfil it.
“We expect to see a reinforced and improved NIS performance in combating smuggling of migrants,” Andeme said.
Also, the NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, charged investigation officers of the service to always embark on thorough investigation before submitting their findings for prosecution.
Babandede said there was a huge gap between investigators and prosecutors, noting that there was need for a synergy between the two to enable them to carry out successful investigation.
He said there was need to bridge the gap, so that investigators and prosecutors could work closely together.
“The arrest you are going to carry out, the search you will conduct must be guided by the prosecutor who will face the law, face the court to convince the court that a crime was actually committed.
“In the whole of all in this country, we need to find opportunity to bridge this gap, so that investigator and prosecutor can closely work together,” Babandede said.
In his remarks, Mr Jorgis Martinez, the Senior Assistant, Spanish Ministry of Interior, thanked FIIAPP for the training.
Martinez said that the Spain Embassy, especially the national police member, had been in continuous collaboration with NIS.
He said the two organisations had built a very strong relationship, adding that, Spain Embassy and its national police would continue to support NIS in the fight against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons.
Martinez thanked Babandede for paving the opportunity to further enhance the collaboration between the Spain Embassy and NIS, adding that, officers participating at the training would gain more knowledge.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that 40 officers of NIS are currently participating in the ongoing training. (NAN)