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Ogbeni Rauf Aregbosola, Minister of Interior, on Thursday in Benin said that the loyalty of Nigerians to the country is non-negotiable.
Aregbesola said this at the opening ceremony of the Comptroller General of Immigration annual conference holding in Benin.
The theme of the conference was “Migration Management in a Developing Economy: The role of NIS”.
He explained that in view of that, there was need for the nation’s border to be protected.
According to him, borders are political construct and because Nigerians share a political, ethnic and cultural affiliation with the neighbouring countries does not mean the country should not protect its borders.
Aregbesola said: “Our loyalty to Nigeria is non-negotiable. So, we must protect our borders.”
He commended President Mohammadu Buhari on his decision on the closing of the nation’s borders.
The minister also said that the Nigerian Immigration Service must ensure it delivers on providing world-class border and migration management services.
Aregbesola said the conference would examine the role of NIS not just in the security architecture of the country, but also as a vital tool in the economic development of the country.
He stressed that towards achieving this economic development, the NIS had been given Dec. 31 to deliver on an efficient, error-free, seamless visa-on-arrival process.
He noted that it was sacrosanct to expand the Nigerian economy through the ease of doing business.
He also said that the conference was an avenue to appraise the service of the NIS over the years, with a view to updating and upgrading to meet with global best practices.
He said that the Nigerian economy has large capacity to grow, and hence the need to work hard to increase the capacity of the country to generate revenue.
“We need to be committed to increase revenue generation for the country. NIS is a great economy supporting institution in the country,” he said.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammad Babandede said that the theme of the conference was carefully chosen in view of the fact that previous conferences dwelt more on security.
Babandede said that the 2019 conference in addition to developing plans for the consolidation of the previous conferences recorded on security and internal monitoring mechanism of NIS.
According to him, the conference will be on how the Service would effectively contribute to sustainable growth and development of the Nation’s economy in the face of current challenges.
He also said that during the conference, the NIS intends to develop and initiate strategies, policies and programmes that would be translated into actionable plans.
He explained that the plans would positively contribute to the sustainable growth of the National Economy.