Akpan Etukudoh Asare
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has commenced electronic registration of all foreigners in cross River State and in other states of Nigeria.
Comptroller of NIS in Cross River State, James Okey Ezugwu said the registration is compulsory and that three months have been allowed for the exercise described as imperative.
At a breakfast meeting with journalists in his office in Calabar, he said the exercise is to ensure the security situation of the country, and that it was not to find out whether the migrants’ status are regular or not.
He called on all Cameroonian refugees, technical expatriates and other migrants to immediately report and register at their offices in all the 18 LGAs of the state.
He cautioned that migrants that refuse to do so within three months will be penalised.
He said that the registration exercise is peculiar in Cross River because of the political crisis in neighbouring Cameroon, which has forced their citizens to flood Cross River State.
Ezugwu said he has deplored his men all over the local government areas, and called on hoteliers, traditional, and religious rulers and landlords to help identify foreigners staying with them.
He said the registration is free and that any personnel in the state who would place charges would be dealt with.
The comptroller said the e-registation exercise was not to find migrants have ulterior mission or or whether status is regular but to ensure that they have comprehensive data base of all foreigners in Nigeria.
“The profiling of migrants is now even more imperative because Cross River State, being a border state, was a haven for foreigners.
“We are commencing the registration of migrants in all the 18 local government areas of the state.
“Every migrant must be captured and profiled so that we can be held responsible. It helps in planning and enhances our productivity, security wise.
“Cross River State occupies a strategic place when it comes to boundary issues. Our peculiar situation makes it imperative to account for every foreigner in the state,” the Comptroller said.
Akpan Etukudoh Asare