The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has told officers of the service to avoid issues capable of tarnishing the image of the service.
A statement by the service Public Relations Officer, James Sunday, on Thursday in Abuja stated that the CG spoke during the service parade for the month of October.
Babandede stated that officers and men of the service must avoid any complicity related to harassment or looting in view of the current state of the nation.
He said they must not be found wanting because as security operatives they are to protect the integrity of the profession being the first line of contact in projecting the image of the nation.
The CG urged officers to respect the fundamental rights of citizens who travel across the borders by ensuring that no one is extorted for any reason provided such travellers have genuine reasons and documents.
Babandede reiterated that border crossing is not subject to fee collection, apart from those that must be paid online such as Visa on Arrival, and are not to be paid to individuals.
He said such processes must pass through the international airports, while that of border crossing for ECOWAS members still remains in the local wings of airports.
He said: “ECOWAS member states are ECOWAS citizens, and they have visa abolition exemption, hence they are not to be subjected to any payment while crossing the border with valid travel documents and through recognised entry points whenever borders are opened by government.
“The service is in the forefront of citizens diplomacy and will always ensure Nigerians are treated with dignity, respect and honour which the service extends to citizens of other countries.
“The service also will witness facelift by alignment and harmonisation of ranks of its personnel, due to the removal of dichotomy between HND and degree holders, which we view as a relief as advocates of skillful personnel against unskilled.
“Many of the officers in inspectorate cadre will wear a new rank, commensurate to their grades, and acrimonies and rancour associated with dichotomy will be a thing of the past.”