Worried by the continuous brain drain the country is witnessing currently, the outgoing Comptroller General of Immigration (CGI), Muhammad Babandede, has cautioned the political leaders not to allow the trend to continue.

He also called on his successor, Acting Comptroller General of Immigration (CGI), DCG Idris Isah Jere to sustain, maintain and implement the lofty projects and policies he initiated, some of which have been completed.

The retired CGI Babandede stated this yesterday at his pull-out parade at the NIS headquarters in Abuja, as the 16th Comptroller General of Immigration Service, after serving five years and four months as the CEO of NIS having been appointed CGI on 16th May 2016.

He said: “our leadership in the country must find a way to keep the talented working in public Service before they are taken away by people who can pay more.

“It is important to note that we have provided the infrastructure, developed policies, manuals and created conducive environment, I, therefore, call on the leadership to sustain, maintain and implement”.

He seized the opportunity to roll out his achievements while on the saddle of the NIS saying documents such as ‘The Nigeria Immigration Service Strategy, 2016 – 2019’ is the foundation of Service’s reforms.

Babandede talked in glowing terms about the New Curriculum for training institutions targeted personnel reform; and ‘The Border Management Strategy: 2019 – 2023’ developed with the support of the EU under the supervision of IOM which will assist in border security, regional integration and tackling human rights issues, including corruption.

“The Nigeria Visa Policy 2020’ launched by Mr President, is the first comprehensive approach of developing a visa policy that addresses our socio-economic needs as a nation. The task before the next leadership is effective implementation. We are almost set to launch the ‘The one Global e-Visa’ which makes Nigerian Visa processing more efficient and transparent”, Babandede added.

He informed that the e-border project has commenced where 84 land borders will be monitored real-time-online with a pilot case linking headquarters with one of the BCP, stressing that “our Border Security and Migration Management efforts got some useful interventions to the extent that most of our Control Posts have been upgraded and installed with modern communication and logistics facilities”.

According to him, “our Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) has been described by IOM as the largest and most complex migration system in the world.

“We have successfully connected all the nation’s International Airports and 23 Land Border Posts to the MIDAS platform. With this facility, generation and processing of migrants’ travel history have been simplified while intelligence gathering and information sharing capability have been improved”.

Babandede explained that the functionality of the MIDAS platform has received a tremendous boost with the establishment of the INTERPOL Desk in the Technology Building.

“We applied and got the key to operating INTERPOL platform and within few months of our connection, we have successfully uploaded over 150,000 Stolen and Lost Passport Documents to the Database. With the facility, we Are now able to trace and track international crimes and criminal groups for necessary action”, he further stated.

To ensure improved Border security, Babandede said he embarked on the construction of Forward Operations Bases along some of the country’s Border flanks and the facility which has Office and residential features for the operatives are equipped with modern patrol, communication and logistics gadgets.

He pointed out that the operatives stationed in each of the facilities patrol border flanks in their locations to ensure that irregular migrants especially those who use unauthorized routes are checked.

Babandede thanked all who contributed in no small measure to make his tenure a success, prominent among them are: President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Muhammadu Damulak, Sahabi Dange, Lady Nwizu and Alhaji Garba Abbas, CGs like Senator UK Umar, CJ Udeh, Lady Uzoma, RB Musa, David Paraddang and MK Abeshi.

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