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General News of Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Source: Dsi Michael Amoako-Atta

Comptroller-General of GIS attends ECOWAS heads of Immigration meeting

A meeting of Heads of Immigration in West Africa has ended in Abuja, Nigeria with the resolve to setup a Migration Academy for the sub-region.

A total of 14 ECOWAS Heads of Immigration took part in a-two-day event which highlighted the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on free movement of persons, border management and the fight against irregular migration within the sub-region.

In his welcome address, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Muhammed Babandede commended the ECOWAS commission for sustaining the vision of fostering regional collaboration towards effective and efficient migration management in West Africa.

He urged his counterparts to compare notes and share operational knowledge and experiences to enable them identify loopholes in their operations and work towards enhancing regional security and economic interest.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Honourable Geoffrey Onyeama, in a speech delivered on behalf of the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria charged the ECOWAS Heads of the Immigration to consider the possibilities of a seamless movement of ECOWAS citizens.

He bemoaned the connotation of migration to negative phenomenon of cross-border crimes and other security challenges and called for stringent measures to change the course of this negative phenomenon to enhance free movement of persons across the borders.

The ECOWAS Heads of Immigration meeting was heralded by the Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) thematic working group on Border Management, tasked to come out with a Border Management Manual for the sub-region. The manual is expected to be finalized through expert contributions from Heads of Immigration Training School and Senior Training Personnel from the ECOWAS member States.

The meeting among others considered free movement manual and trainer’s guide, recommendations from MIDWA thematic working group on Border Management, effective migration management within ECOWAS and data management and sharing of information.

The event was attended by Heads of Immigration from Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Ghana, the Gambia, Guinea and Liberia. The rest were Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria and Togo.

The delegation from Ghana was led by the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr. Kwame Asuah Takyi.

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