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Reps Want Immigration Act Repealed

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ABUJA, Nov 11, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives today set the tone for the repeal of the Immigration Act by passing for second reading, a Bill for an Act to repeal the Immigration Act of 1963, and re-enact the law as the Immigration Act 2010 as a way of improving quality service delivery in the service. Leading debate on the bill, Chairman of the House Committee on the Interior, Hon. Jerimon Manwe said the existing Act contained a lot of outdated provisions coupled with other loopholes. According to him, there was no provision in the Act authorizing men of the Immigration Service to carry arms in the course of their duty, even though they have an armed squad.

Manwe, while explaining the need for a repeal of the existing act and enactment of a new one said that the head of Immigration was referred to in the extant Act as Director General instead of Comptroller General as is the right practice.

While supporting the amendment, Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and Minority Whip, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila also argued that the Act has to be totally overhauled since substantial parts of the provision were no longer relevant to modern day Immigration practices, adding that immigration laws can never be inert anywhere in the world. He said further that the concept of immigration laws was critical to any nation, especially as it touches on key issues like national security, labour, revenues and taxes among others. “This why most nations of the world take their immigration law very seriously to the extent that it a very big issue during campaign for election into public offices,” he stated. Others who spoke in support of the amendment proposal were the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Mr. Ita Enang; Darlington Okereke; Emmanuel Jimeh; Oluwole Oke; and Abike Dabiri-Erewa among others.

Also today, the House directed the management of the National Emergency Management Agency [NEMA] to provide relief materials to victims of the recent flood that submerged the Illushi community in Esan South local government of Edo State, due to an overflow of the River Niger.

It also directed the Ministries of Environment and the Niger Delta to quickly address the degradation of the River Niger banks at Illushi.