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Border closure not against ECOWAS – Immigration Boss

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Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Mohammed Babandede, has said the partial closure of Nigeria’s border with neighboring countries was not aimed at distorting relationships or economic activities of any member states of the Economic community of West African States (ECOWAS), but for national security and economic development of the Nigerian state.

Babandede said the partial land, sea and air closure policy of the Nigeria government was not against the ECOWAS, but to ensure sanity in Nigeria especially in the areas of national security as peoples’ movements are controlled and economic development as it would create employment opportunities as local productions are enhanced.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony of the upgraded officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service at the Immigration Training School in Kano State held over the weekend, Babandede said: “What we are saying is obvious, the land borders have been closed partially because of the operation “Swift Response” being coordinated by the office of the National Security Adviser of which I said is of great security and economic benefit to Nigeria.”

According to him, “No country in the world would allow people and products to enter into its territory through any available routes and without valid travel documents.”

He said the border crossing saga has been eased by the Nigerian government for non-Nigerians and Nigerian alike, but only through a controlled border post and for those with genuine travelling documents.

“Immigration has allowed through the approval of Mr. President in order to ease the tension for the people that both our citizens and non-Nigerians can enter and leave Nigeria only through a recognised immigration control post and they cannot leave without a travel document,” explained Babandede.

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