The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has inaugurated the Reference Centre at the NIS Headquarters in Abuja to support border management and border security efforts by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
IOM has been working closely with NIS and other government agencies on issues of migration management, immigration, and border management to strengthen its personnel capacity, enhance border security, improve border surveillance and patrol.
The Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) was adopted by the Federal Government of Nigeria as its national Border Management Information System (BMIS) in 2016. IOM, and in cooperation with the NIS has equipped five international airports in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port- Harcourt, and Enugu, fourteen land borders, four sea borders and eight State Commands, and the NIS headquarters with MIDAS, making Nigeria the largest MIDAS architecture in the world.
IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission, Laurent de Boeck said at the event on Thursday in Abuja that: “The collaboration with the Nigeria Immigration Service has enhanced the capacity building of staff through improving the existing facilities and establishing additional components to create a robust learning environment.”
He added that the establishment of the NIS Reference Centre is a testament to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s commitment to enhancing border security and border management.
The newly commissioned Reference Centre which is located at the NIS headquarters comprises of a training hall, a forensic lab, an e-learning library, a MIDAS desk Office, a server room and a power room.
The Centre will not only serve as a training and capacity building hub for NIS officers but also as an avenue for collaboration and exchange with other agencies and partners within the country, in the region and the continent at large.
In his remarks, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Isah Idris said: “It is my expectation that this Training and Reference Centre will provide sustainable e-training platform for our Officers and Men, strengthen the capacity of our Officers to handle the various MIDAS equipment and be a foremost Reference Centre for forensic examination of Travel and Identity documents, such as International Passports, Visas, entry permits, and drivers’ licenses.”
Ambassador of the Government of Denmark to Nigeria, Sune Krogstrup, said:
“Denmark is proud to be a close partner of IOM and a close partner of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigeria Immigration service. We are delighted to follow the progress made towards more robust border management and improve border security.”
Representative of the Government of Canada., Cindy Brouillette said: “We are pleased to support Nigeria in its efforts to strengthen its border controls and curb the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, in partnership with the IOM through the ‘MIDAS Expansion at Air Borders’ project.”
A major aim of this project is to enhance the capacity of officers to ensure a faster, safer and more reliable facilitation of traveller processing at international borders through strengthened national data architecture, relevant legal framework and inter-agency cooperation as well as promoting regional and continental cooperation.
The Government of Canada and the Government of Denmark provided funding support to this effort through the projects “MIDAS Expansion at Air Borders in Nigeria” and the “Enhancing Air Border Data Systems in Nigeria – Phase 2 (EABDS-II).