Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has directed all employers and landlords of foreigners in the State to see that all migrants who are eligible for the Migrant Electronic Registration do so on time.
Makinde gave the directive at the Headquarters of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Oyo State Command, while speaking at the flag-off of the Migrants E-Registration exercise.
The flag-off ceremony was attended by the State Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan; the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun; the Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka and the Head of Service, Mrs Amidat Agboola, among other top government functionaries.
Others at the event included, State Service Chiefs, including the Ibadan Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Friday Ebelo, NIS Comptroller, Oyo State Command, Mr Saleh Abdullahi, traditional rulers and leaders of foreigners residing in the State, among others.
Commending the initiative, Governor Makinde said the effort is coming at the most appropriate time considering the national security challenges, as it would aid the enhancement of internal security by identifying, verifying and determining the migration status of resident migrants in the State, in particular.
Makinde stated, “This administration places high premium on peace, safety and security of lives and property, as no meaningful development can take place in any place where there is no adequate security. This is because no investor would want to invest in a place where his money will go down the drain.”
The Governor appreciated the introduction of the Migrants E-Registration, adding that where there is no peace, there could be no development, hence perceiving the service as a good partner in progress, capable of living up to security expectations.
Affirming that security is a collective responsibility, Makinde advised and directed all employers and landlords of foreigners to see it as a point of duty that the foreigners key into the laudable programme which is free of any charge.
He said, “The benefits of this laudable programme to the country and the migrants cannot be overemphasized. It will enhance our internal security, migrant is secured under immigration responsibility and above all, other security agencies can access information from the database if the need arises and it can be used to track undesirable foreign elements in our nation.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the NIS Oyo Command Boss, Comptroller Saleh Abdullahi, said the purpose of the initiative is to “enhance internal security by verifying, identifying and determining the migration status of resident migrants in the State in particular and by extension, Nigeria in general”.
He stated that the Migrants E-Registration entails the enrolment and biometric capturing of all migrants residing in all 33 Local Government Areas of Oyo State or who may wish to stay for a period more than 90 days, in line with Section 57 Sub-section 5 of the Immigration Act, 2015.
Abdullahi added, “I urge you all to key into this laudable programming that is free of any charge and all encompassing for both regular and irregular migrants. The effort will serve as a verifiable ingredient required for national planning.”
Explaining the benefits and penalties of failure to comply with the Migrants E-Registration to the stakeholders at the event, he said that the failure is contrary to Section 57 (5) of the Immigration Acts 2015 and punishable with a penalty of three years imprisonment or a fine of N500,000 or both.
The new policy was recently flagged off by President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Headquarters of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Abuja.