Rivers NIS begins tracking of irregular migrants, quota abuse, infringement on immigration laws

By Edu Abade

Rivers State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has commenced a statewide operation and intelligence gathering on irregular migrants, codenamed: Operation Guguwa, to track and identify all illegal migrants in the state.

State Comptroller of the Service, James Sunday, explained that the exercise became necessary for the command to embark on the operation in view of cases discovered through intelligence gathering and activities of its operatives in the intelligence and surveillance section of the investigation and compliance unit of the command.

Rivers NIS begins tracking of irregular migrants, quota abuse, infringement on immigration laws

A statement issued on April 12, 2023, by the Public Relations Officer of the Command quoted Comptroller Sunday as saying that the Command discovered connivance, abuses and deliberate attempts by syndicates that specialise in extorting expatriates for irregularities in their residency and work permits and promising them cover from the service apprehension and arrest.

“Therefore, the Service has constituted a team to embark on the exercise codenamed: Operation Guguwa to carry out intelligence gathering, spot checks and investigate reported cases for proper documentation, profiling and investigation, as well as make recommendations for appropriate sanctions by the NIS Headquarters in Abuja.

“The Service mandates of monitoring and control of entry and exit residency and work operations of non-Nigerians, expatriates on company quota, those on Temporary Work Permit (TWP), potential investors on Business Visa or other related visas including Visitors Pass and any other permits recognised by the service in line with the Immigration Act 2015 and other extant immigration laws in the Command has commenced in earnest and it is yielding positive results, as locations are being visited and intelligence gathered is being deployed for successful apprehension of suspects and those alleged to be involved in abuses of relevant immigration provisions,” he said.

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He also cautioned officers and men of the command involved in any acts contrary to their expected roles and responsibilities to desist and allow the system to work as an effective institution, stressing that collaboration to deny government of revenue, extortion, diversion of operational works from the state Command to other states when the mother company or operational base is in Rivers State will no longer be tolerated.


“Every state Command has its area of jurisdiction and limitations and so expatriates in Rivers State are advised to process and regularise their documents through the Command and the command will, through appropriate channels, forward their requests to either the Service Headquarters, Abuja or the Zonal Office as the case may be.

“But circumventing or undermining the role of the State Command will only amount to abuse of due diligence process and the Command will not entertain cases of extortion or infringement by un-authorised individuals or groups in the regularisation of stay, visa process and endorsement and other facilities at the disposal of the state Command.

“In like manner touts at the passport office Annex are warned to stay clear and allow applicants to get the best service and treat cases of extortions and undue delay in processing passports for applicants through interference by a third party or touts will not be condoned, as an internal checker and intelligence machinery have been put in place for the good image of the Service and the Command,” the statement added.

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