The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. David Parrandang, Wednesday, said the federal government had given a go-ahead for the opening up of 30 new border posts mainly in the troubled North-east.
Parrandang, who was a guest at the National Conference Committee on Immigration, lamented the existence of well over 1,400 illegal borders in Nigeria, a situation he said contributes to the spate of insurgencies in the country.
He said a paltry 22,300 staff are currently in the employ of the immigration service nationwide, adding that the organisation needed to be recruiting an average of 5,000 officers annually for the next five years, if it must discharge its responsibilities adequately.
He said plans are underway to open up 30 new border control posts in strategic locations in the country to beef- up the 83 existing border posts.
Apparently reacting to the Boko Haram crisis in Adamawa State and other North-east states, the Comptroller General said only five legal control posts exist in that region, in addition to 80 illegal routes through which the sect members may be finding their way into the country.
Speaking on the issue of erecting perimeter fence across the borders, the Parrandang said relying only on border perimetres alone would not work, adding “we need a relevant mix of technology and relevant personnel.
“There are numerous border crosses into this country, 1400 illegal routes which are not manned, this has threatened the security of the nation.
“There are 22,300 staff performing all the immigration functions in the whole country. We require at least 5,000 additional personnel annually for the next five years to be able to effectively control our borders.
“In terms of finances we need to effectively check our borders,one cannot quantify that in naira and kobo. For you to be able to patrol the country perfectly, you need a combination of equipment, citizens participation, more competent personnel among others.
“ If you throw money at borders it would not achieve anything but you need a combination of all these to make it work. And it need patient to follow through,” he said.
On measures to ameliorate the suffering by Nigerian passport holders, he said very shortly NIS is going to have a 64-page passport as part of the ongoing reforms of services rendered by the immigration service.
He also promised that there are plans to introduce electronic data capturing device to be stationed at the nation’s international airports to track movement in and out of the country.