By Bridget Ikyado
Abuja – Ondo State Government has pledged to work with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to mitigate irregular migration and human trafficking in the state.
Prince Boye Ologbese, Commissioner for Regional Integration and Diaspora Relations made this known when he led a delegation from the state on a working visit to the Ag. Comptroller-General of NIS, Mrs Caroline Adepoju in Abuja.
“We can develop initiatives that prioritise the best interest of our citizens, facilitate legitimate travel and immigration and uphold the rule of law,” he said.
The commissioner sought the assistance of NIS to track the statistics of indigenes who had left the state.
He also said that the state government would appreciate prompt issuance of passports to its officials on assignment outside the country.
Ologbese said the state established the Diaspora Relations office in 2021 to connect and engage indigenes of the state in the diasporas to promote socio-economic development in the state.
“As part of our responsibilities, the ministry is equally billed to discourage irregular migration and human trafficking, among others.”
According him, the ministry has been collaborating with foreign missions, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NAPTIP and the International Organisation on Migration, to achieve its mandate.
The commissioner said the collaborations has resulted to the repatriation of some youths trafficked by road to Libya.
“As we speak efforts are ongoing to rescue some of our youths presently trapped in Benin Republic and other locations, ” Ologbese said.
He appreciated the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender, headed by Mrs Olamide Falana, for its involvement in curtailing the menace.
”The office organises regular radio programmes to educate the public on snags involved in human trafficking”.
He said the ministry had finalised plans to organise sensitization programme across the three senatorial zones which the NIS would be included.
Responding, Adepoju expressed the service’s readiness to develop stronger bonds, meaningful partnerships and build a future where immigration processes are secure, efficient and welcoming to all.
She also said the NIS would welcome any support to curb the menace of trafficking in persons, and related criminalities.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Christian pilgrims that performed pilgrimage in 2023 together with the NIS Boss, have visited and congratulated her over the appointment.
Rev. Mutong Bitrus who led the group prayed for her success and confirmation as substantive C-G.
In her remarks, the C-G appreciated the group for the prayers and pledged to do her best in making the NIS more efficient and responsive.
“We will do anything we can to secure our borders from illegal smuggling, human trafficking etc,” she added.
Adepoju said NIS would work in synergy with schools to educate the youth about the dangers of illegal migration.
She advised Nigerians to follow the right processes in acquiring visas and passports. (NAN/vitalnewsngr.com)