The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says it is now using Electronic Passenger Registration System (e-PARS), a technology that monitors and controls activities of expatriates across Nigeria.
Mr Ekpedeme King, NIS Public Relations Officer says the technology innovation was borne out of the incessant security threats in the country.
The measure became necessary in view of the security situation in the country and the need to check activities of illegal immigrants and terrorists in the country, the NIS spokesman says.
According to him, “the e-PARS is an electronic registration platform which allows NIS to capture data of expatriates that have entered Nigeria but are not captured under the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) residency scheme.”
NIS says that “the system provides for effective monitoring of expatriates/visitors right from arrival till they leave the country”.
The NIS spokesperson said that the Comptroller-General (CG) of NIS, Mr. Martin Abeshi, had ordered immigration officers at all entry points into the country, especially airports, to enforce the directive.
“The NIS CG had ordered officers to comply with the directive on e-PARS and also advised them to familiarize themselves with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) facilitation resolution,’’ he adds.
NIS is also deploying automated border control technologies to strategic international airports in the country to ensure proper security check and scrutiny of those entering the country, he says.
He also warned expatriates to endeavour to renew their CERPAC and necessary documents accordingly before they expire or risk arrest, deportation or fine.
NIS says that it is collaborating with organizations, such as banks, to ensure that only immigrants with valid documents were attended to while those with expired documents were arrested.
King gave assurance that NIS would also intensify its raids on hotspots where illegal immigrants had made their abode across Nigeria.
He wants Nigerians to remain vigilant and report any immigrant involved in suspicious activity to the nearest security operative or NIS Command.