The National Inland Waterways Authority has concluded plans to strengthen collaboration with the Nigerian Immigration Service to curb illegal migration through the Lagos waterways.

The agencies disclosed this on Thursday when the new Comptroller of Immigration Service in charge of Lagos Seaports and Marine Command, Joseph Dada, visited the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Sarat Braimah at Marina, Lagos.

Speaking during the meeting, the comptroller observed that the service would fare better in achieving its mandate with a strategic partnership with NIWA.

“We have some challenges on the waterways even though we do patrols. Collaborating with NIWA will guarantee stronger waterway operations,” Dada said.

Dada explained that even though people had the right to migrate, they had to do it legally.

He added, “We aren’t saying people shouldn’t migrate or japa from Nigeria. Migration is part of life and people have a right to seek greener pastures, but they must do it the right way.

“They have to get their passports and visas and travel through the appropriate channels.”

The Immigration boss lamented that several Nigerian ladies who had fallen victim to human trafficking were lured with job offers.

Earlier, the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, while welcoming the strategic collaborations with NIS, stressed that both agencies were working for the common good of Nigeria.

Braimah said, “We expect this collaboration to prohibit illegal migration. Migration is part of life as you observed earlier it fosters tourism, culture and development.

“Nonetheless, we would assist the NIS in achieving their objective which is that people shouldn’t migrate illegally.”

 “A lot of passengers board ferries from Marina jetty to Badagry and Port Novo. We don’t know their final destinations and cannot verify their identity, but are open to NIS partnership to carry out migration checks.”

 She declared that NIWA could train NIS officials to board vessels safely and provide boats, life-jackets, among other equipment when the NIS make such requests.