COVID-19: Immigration issues advisory to air travellers

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has appealed to travellers to comply with the clearance procedures at the airports to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

NAN reports that the appeal was contained in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja by NIS Public Relations Officer, Mr Sunday James.

He stated that NIS Comptroller General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, commended the Comptroller of Immigration at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, Sadat Hassan, for doing a “wonderful job’’.

It stated that Hassan had helped to instil sanity by operating an airtight entry and exit points that had resulted in various arrests.

According to the statement, the outgoing year birthed a global pandemic, COVID-19, that has prompted nations to enforce mandatory lockdowns and border closures.

“NIS, as the lead agency in charge of migration control and border management at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), had to step up personnel protection to insulate them from contracting COVID-19.

“The personnel protection insulate was done through the installation of glass shields that separate the operatives from passengers, use of face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitisers, among others.

“No fewer than 239,114 outbound and inbound migrants passed through NAIA, Abuja, between Jan. 1 and Dec. 15, 2020.; so far, 73,582 Nigerians and 46,665 non-Nigerians departed NAIA, Abuja for various destinations abroad.

“Similarly, 81,277 Nigerians and 37,590 non-Nigerians arrived through NAIA airport within the period under review. A total of 625 Nigerians were deported and 24 repatriated for various criminal and immigration related offences.

“In the same vein, 12 foreign nationals who failed to comply with Nigerian entry requirements were refused admission and returned,” the statement revealed.

It added that 34 Nigerians, predominantly young ladies, were refused departure for non-compliance and violation of immigration regulations and other extant laws.

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