NIS registers 80,000 migrants, intercepts 70 human trafficking victims

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The Nigeria Immigration Service has said it has registered 80,000 migrants since the migrant e-registration commenced in July last year.

The Comptroller General of NIS, Muhammed Babandede, said  45,000 of them were irregular migrants, with 35,000 regular migrants.

The CG said they  also intercepted 70 human trafficking victims being taken out of the country from November to December last year.

He said a suspected human trafficker was intercepted with five female victims en route from Niger Republic to Europe on November 23.

According to him, 37 underage children were also nabbed at Dankama on November 26, while 28 people  being smuggled out of the country were arrested at Kongolam, Katsina State, on December 2 by NIS officers.

Babandede denied reports that immigration officers in Sokoto were collecting N200 bribes to allow illegal immigrants into  the country.

He said this in reaction to a report by BusinessDay that the NIS officials at checkpoints  had “indirectly legalised illegal migration with their cash-for-pass attitudes”.

Spokesman for the body, DCI Sunday James, in a statement on Friday said the CG had ordered an investigation into the allegation.

He  said, “The objective of the migrant e-registration  is  to afford the  government the opportunity to know precisely the total number of migrants resident in the country as well as their status.”

“The migrant data would also assist the government in sociopolitical and national demographic growth plans.”

“So far, 80 migrants have been registered comprising 45,000 irregular migrants, representing 66 per cent of the total number of migrants registered, and 35,000 representing 34 per cent of  regular migrants.”

The CG asked the public to report cases of extortion or any form of illegalities on  the borders.

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