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Senate moves to pass immigration bill

By The Citizen
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Senate has re­ceived the report of its Committee on Interior on the Immigration Act Amend­ment Bill passed by the House of Representatives in 2014.

The report, which was presented by Chairman of the committee, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, was said to agree with the earlier version passed by the Green Chamber.

It makes several innova­tive provisions aimed at modernising and reposition­ing the Nigeria Immigration Service to be able to cope with new immigration chal­lenges. Many observers believe the Immigration Act of 1963 is outdated and long overdue for overhauling.

The Senate seems deter­mined to give the country a modern Immigration Act before the winding down of the current National As­sembly. The Upper House of the National Assembly will begin consideration of the report of the committee this week.

If passed, the Immigra­tion Bill will strengthen the capacity of the Immigra­tion Service to man and police the country's porous and expansive borders and tackle migration-related problems, including smug­gling of migrants under the Palermo Protocol.

Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, D. S. Parradang, who urged the Senate Committee on Interior to expedite action on passage of the bill in 2014, had said: 'The Immigration Bill seeks to achieve a bal­ance between facilitation of migration for legitimate purposes and creating a better platform for Nigeria to realised the development benefits of migration, while effectively preventing and controlling irregular migra­tion, including the atten­dant trans-border crimes. In most developed countries of the world, migration is usually mainstreamed into most national plans and policies as it plays funda­mental role in elections, economic growth, labour administration and general public perception on mat­ters of national security, in­vestment policies as well as employment.'