Border security: FG to implement ECOWAS biometric identity card

AS part of efforts to curb the influx of foreigners, the Federal Government is to implement the use of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) biometric identity card in the country.

Minister of Interior, Lieutenant Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, made this known on Thursday in Abuja while receiving participants of Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 12 of Institute for Security Studies, Abuja, on a courtesy visit.

He disclosed that his Ministry will Friday (today) sign a concession agreement with Euphoria Press Ltd on the implementation of the ECOWAS Biometric Identity Card.

He added that the document would be officially launched in three months after which nobody could cross the Nigerian border without ECOWAS Biometric Identity Card, saying this was part of some security arrangements the Federal Government was making to address border security issues in the country.

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Dambazau explained that this was a prominent feature of the last ECOWAS meeting held in December 2018 in Abuja.

According to him, the ECOWAS free movement protocol would now be accompanied by a passport and proper documentation.

He further noted that the Federal Government through the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) that is statutorily responsible for border control, evolved a number of measures to secure Nigerian borders.

This, the Minister said included the deployment of technology in some Nigerian land borders while also establishing patrol bases across strategic border states.

Director of Institute for Security studies, Ayodele Adeleke, who led the delegation had earlier in his remark, said they were at the Ministry of Interior to understudy the workings of the Ministry, which he said was critical to the work of participants.

He expressed concerned about internal security, especially the Boko Haram insurgents, and called on the Federal Government to ensure collaboration with neighbouring countries in addressing the challenge.

Adeleke, also said it was worrisome the high number of young Nigerians who die annually in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to cross to Europe for greener pasture, saying the country needs to look critically into the international migration in order to address the challenge of illegal migration.

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