The Federal Government has directed all foreigners in the country to register with the Nigeria Immigration Service within six months under the migrant e-registration programme of the agency.
While giving the directive during the inauguration of the migrant e-registration and passport application processing centre at the NIS headquarters, Abuja, on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that any alien who failed to comply would be declared an illegal migrant.
Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, explained that the e-registration would aid internal monitoring and integration while enhancing national security.
He assured the international community that his government was committed to the protection of the rights of migrants, adding, however, that it also has the responsibility to know them and identify what they do for a living.
The President said, “It is on this note that I am declaring a six-month amnesty period for irregular migrants already in the country to submit themselves to the Nigeria Immigration Service for the purpose of this registration which will be carried out without any payment or penalties.”
Buhari further said his administration has approved a comprehensive passport reform aimed at enhancing the country’s identity management, among other things.
In line with the government’s commitment to the Local Content Act, the President said he has directed that the production of passport booklets should be done in Nigeria to build capacity of indigenous firms and enable seamless service delivery.
The Comptroller-General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede, pointed out that the migrant registration, like the passport, “will be linked with national identity eco-system to generate a unique number that will eventually connect to all identity systems in Nigeria.”
“We are actualising the dream of this administration of one man, one identity,” he stated.