The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said that it processed the passports of 81,277 Nigerians and 37,590 non Nigerians that arrived through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA),Abuja between January 2020 and December 15, 2020.
NIS also revealed that so far, it also processed 73,582 Nigerians and 46,665 Non Nigerians,who departed NAIA, Abuja for various destinations abroad in the period under review.
These were disclosed in statement issued by the Service Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller of Immigration, Sunday James titled, “Review of NIS Operational Activities at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in 2020.”
According to the statement the year 2020 birthed a global pandemic issue; the COVID-19, that
prompted nations’ of the world to enforce mandatory lock down and
border closure before its eventual relaxation within the year.
It added that Nigeria had its own fair share of the COVID-19 experience and that Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) as the lead agency in charge of migration control and border management at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport (NAIA), had to step up personnel protection to insulate them from contracting COVID-19 through the installation of glass shields that separate the operatives from passengers, use of face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitizers among others.
NIS said in the statement that no fewer than 239,114 outbound and inbound migrants passed through NAIA, Abuja between 01st January 2020 and December 15, 2020.
“So far, 73,582 Nigerians and 46,665 Non Nigerians departed NAIA, Abuja for various destinations abroad. Similarly, 81,277 Nigerians and 37,590 Non Nigerians arrived through NAIA airport within the period under review. A total of 625 Nigerians were deported and 24 repatriated for various criminal and immigration related offences abroad. In the same vein, 12 foreign nationals who failed to comply with Nigerian entry requirement were refused admission and returned.
” 34 Nigerians predominantly females (young ladies) were refused
departure for non-compliance and violation of immigration regulations and other extant laws. The young ladies were victims of human trafficking being transported for the purpose of forced prostitution and sex exploitation and were between the ages of 18 to 28. Their final
destination was Dubai, UAE. Upon interception, they were profiled and forwarded to NIS Service Headquarter for further investigation and released to NAPTIP for rehabilitation. In the same vein, the change of operational strategy lead to the uncovering of the persons recruiting and trafficking these ladies via sting operation where six (6) recruiters/traffickers were apprehended (4 males and 2 females). In addition, the identities of 3 recruiters/sponsors resident in Dubai were equally uncovered.
“The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command, within the
period under review, received and handed over 100 Nigerians whose
offences are not immigration related to relevant agencies ie, drug related issues, financial crimes, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants,”NIS said.
The agency stated that the review would not be complete without acknowledging the impact
of the Comptroller General’s transformation agenda in the deployment of Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) to enhance air
border management at all the airports,adding that with the deployment of this
veritable platform, the Airport Command has been experiencing smooth and seamless passenger processing.
The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad
Babandede,has commended the Comptroller of Immigration Service at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command, Sadat Hassan, for operating an air tight entry and exit point that resulted in those various arrests.
NIS appealed to the general public to co-operate with the operatives at the airport during clearance procedures to reduce human contact to avoid the spread of COVID-19.