31 August 2016
The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the British Government on immigration returns and proper profiling of the nationalities of migrants.
The Minister of Interior, Retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja in a statement signed by Mr Willie Bassey, Director, Press, at the ministry.
He said that the profiling of migrants would be done through biometric and biographic data.
Dambazau stated that the MoU was a review of the initial bilateral agreement signed in 2005 between the two countries on the return of illegal immigrants, as well as for legal migrants who overstayed their visas.
He said that the review was informed by new challenges that had emerged, which could only be met by reviewing the Agreement, adding that such challenges included the difficulties in ascertaining the correct nationalities of some immigrants.
He noted that “the Addendum being signed concerns the use of biometric and biographic data and addresses the concerns of the government of Nigeria regarding the true identity of some migrants.”
In a response, the leader of the UK delegation and Minister of State for Immigration, Robert Goodwill, described the Addendum as a significant modernisation on the earlier MoU.
He stressed the importance of preventing immigration abuse by those who entered and left the UK illegally.
He commended the Minister of Interior for driving the process, which culminated in the signing of the MoU
In his remarks, the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, said innovations were introduced to make the Nigerian passport acceptable globally, by making it machine- readable.