Nigeria to turn back ECOWAS citizens without biometric identity card
London, March 15, 2019 (AltAfrica)-In its bid to step up security across its various border with neighbouring countries, Nigeria is to begin the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, biometric identity card.
By the implementation, no ECOWAS no citizen will be allowed into Nigeria without the biometric identity card as part of efforts of the government to curb influx of foreigners into the country.
As part of the process to fast-tract the policy, the The ministry internal Affairs may sign a Concession Agreement on the Implementation of the ECOWAS Biometric Identity Card with Euphoria Press Limited on Friday.
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau made this known on Thursday when participants of Executive Intelligence Management Course, EIMC, 12 of Institute for Security Studies, ISS, Bwari, Abuja, visited him.
The minister explained that ECOWAS Free movement protocol would now be accompanied by strict passports and proper documentation to ensure that people of questionable character were not allowed to cause trouble in the country
“We will ensure that we implement the ECOWAS Biometric Identity Card in Nigeria. We will launch it three Months after the signing.’’
He said that the biometric identity card was a prominent feature in the last ECOWAS Summit in December, 2018 in Abuja.
According to him, nobody can cross our border without the ECOWAS identity card; these are some of the security arrangements Nigeria is making to address border security issues.
Mr Danbazau noted that border security was a challenge, adding that Nigerian Immigration Service was responsible for manning the nation’s borders and monitoring movement of people.
“We had to build a good intelligence gathering system so that we can have a good information. This will build our capacity to monitor and respond to these issues,’’ he said.
He added that Nigeria also shared intelligence with neighbouring countries, saying “we are also partnering other countries, especially our strategic neighbours and other European countries and international organisations.
“We are installing a system called Midas to help improve on capacity to monitor our borders, and because of the insurgency in the North-East, we had to partner Nigerian Air Force and build their capacity.’’
He said that Nigeria had provided a number of vehicles for patrol and had established a number of patrol bases across strategic border-States.
Earlier the Director of ISS, Ayodele Adeleke, who led the delegation, said that the team was on a visit to understudy the operations of the ministry.
He raised concerns on internal security in Nigeria, stressing on the need to collaborate with neighbouring countries in addressing the issue.
Mr Adeleke noted that some youths had died in the Mediterranean, while some were stranded along the routes in attempts to move out of the country.
He pointed out that International Migration had posed a lot of problems for Nigeria, adding that there was need for relevant agencies to collaborate to tackle the challenges.
The delegation comprised personnel of the Navy, DSS, EFCC, NSCDC, Police and paramilitary organisations.