By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
The Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has urged migrants residing in the state to cooperate with the officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) for proper documentation and data capturing.
He admonished them to register with the NIS to enable the state to guarantee their security and welfare and to afford them the opportunity to carry out their legitimate businesses.
Oyetola, was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prince Wole Oyebamiji, spoke on Thursday at the State Command of the NIS, Osogbo, during the inauguration of the electronic registration of migrants residing in the state.
He further said: “The e-Registration exercise is a global standard exercise. It is designed for all migrants who are 18 years and above to register with the Nigeria Immigration Service. This exercise will serve as a database of all foreigners.
“Consequently, I enjoin all migrants resident in Osun to register with the Nigeria Immigration Service to enable the State to guarantee their security and welfare and to afford them the opportunity to carry out their legitimate businesses.
“No nation or state is self sustaining. Nigerians and citizens of Osun, like other world nationals, are all over the globe contributing their quota to the development of their nations of residence.
“The state of Osun is the reigning Most Peaceful State in Nigeria. It is open to migrants and other non-indigenes who are ready to live in the state in peace and contribute to the socio-economic and overall development of Osun.
“As a creation of the law, we expect all migrants to be law abiding and to know that the instruments of the law shall be invoked in the event of any infraction as the state would, even to its own citizens.
“I urge our officials and citizens to cooperate with the Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure seamless implementation of the exercise”, Oyetola said.
While commending the leadership of the NIS for coming up with the e-registration initiative and for applying best practices in ensuring its implementation, the governor said: “I would also like to appeal to the good people of Osun to continue to demonstrate the Omoluabi ethos of hospitality, good neighbourliness and peace that the state is known for in their relationship with the migrants and other residents.
“Our administration kicked off on a note of equitable development and distribution of wealth. The greatest tool for achieving this set plan is the people. We therefore solicit the cooperation of all citizens and residents to achieve this agenda”.
Earlier in his welcome address, the state Comptroller of Immigration, Mallam Isa Uba Panshekara, said e-registration is an exercise intended to capture biometrics of all non-Nigerians in the country who have attained the age of 18 years and above and who have stayed or are intending to stay in Nigeria for a period exceeding 90 days.
He disclosed that the equipment for e-registration of migrants has duly been installed while the Command had embarked on massive sensitisation of the public in the past few weeks through meetings with stakeholders including the traditional rulers.
According to him, an initial period of six months grace from the day the exercise was inaugurated in Abuja had been granted by President Muhammadu Buhari for migrants who fall into the category for registration to do so, whether they possess valid entry documents or not.
“The e-registration of migrants in the state is a new initiative by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to have a comprehensive database of non-Nigerians residing in the country for planning and security purposes.
“Irregular migrants amongst this lot are expected to perfect their stay particulars after e-registration. On expiration of the period of grace granted, enforcement will begin”, he added.
Mallam Panshekara, also appreciated the state government of Osun under the leadership of Governor Gboyega Oyetola for his exceptional role and support for the service, as well as other service chiefs, royal fathers, led by the Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdurasheed Olabomi Odundun IV, Captains of Industries, Head of ECOWAS communities, and officers of the command for being at the inauguration.