May 20 2012
By Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
It also refused about 16,998 foreigners entry in the same period.
The Federal government did not, however, give specific reasons for the action.
The repatriation followed a February 26 directive by the Federal Government for the immediate easing out of all illegal immigrants from the country.
Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, disclosed these yesterday at an interface with the media and some members of the public at the ongoing 2012 ministerial platform in Abuja.
He also informed that 335 foreigners were also deported within the same period with 34 stowaways.
The Minister said the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) watch-listed 1, 247 persons and restricted about 3, 298 Nigerians from travelling for allegedly possessing doubtful travel documents.
He added that although the ministry does not have the mandate to generate revenue for the government, it has been able to rake billions into Federal Government coffers.
The ministry, according to him, generated over N190 million at the Citizenship and Business Department.
The NIS generated N5,765 billion from issuance of immigration facilities while the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps made N72 million within the period, the minister further disclosed.
The NIS, he added, generated a further $11,470 million through the issuance of immigration facilities by Foreign Missions and another $729, 600 as fines imposed on certain airlines that brought some inadmissible foreigners to Nigeria.
Moro also regretted the lack of cooperation among security agencies and said effective internal security can only be achieved through maximum synergy between the ministry and other security agencies.
According to him: “There were grave ambivalences in the defined responsibilities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
‘’These were manifest in situations where the Ministry was saddled with the responsibility of maintaining internal security without having the necessary control over the requisite indispensable para-military establishments such as the Police Force, Passport Office, Revenue and Preventive Divisions of the Customs and Excise Department. The Fire Service was also under the supervision of the Nigeria Police Force.’’
The minister disclosed that the Federal Government is collaborating with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to effectively patrol and control the nation’s borders with over 1, 497 irregular and 84 regular or legal entry routes.
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