The Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS) says it will deploy technology as well as implement a biometric identity verification system that will help improve border security and surveillance. 

Caroline Adepoju, acting comptroller-general (ACG) of NIS, spoke on Wednesday at a one-day retreat organised by the agency.

The event, themed, ‘One Impression: Inter-Agency Collaboration’, was held in Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) command, Lagos.

The NIS boss said in collaboration with the border security and migration management body, plans are underway to acquire aircraft, helicopters and drones for surveillance and aerial monitoring.

According to Adepoju, such mobile critical infrastructure would go a long way for the NIS to discharge its core mandate of monitoring and the movement of persons across the country’s land, sea, and land borders.

She said the acquisition of the equipment is already captured in the 2024 budget of the ministry of interior.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that NIS gets its aircraft back, we used to have aircraft for border surveillance, we are now putting this into our budget,” she said.

“We are going to buy aircraft, we will buy drones, we are going to buy helicopters to ensure that we effectively do aerial border management.”

Adepoju added that the NIS will continue to invest in technology to drive the production of travel documents and other initiatives that would boost security at the country’s borders.

She said from early next year, the NIS will be deploying electronic gates at the airports to ease the facilitation of passengers coming into and out of the country.

This, she said, will also minimise the need for direct interaction with immigration officers.

“Very soon, NIS will be deploying the e-gate to make it seamless for our nationals to come in, to make it less stressful,” Adepoju said.

“In the early part of 2024, we will deploy the e-gate ensuring that our Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) improve on them, ensuring our borders, air, land, and sea are fortified.

“The electronic gate, for example, our nationals may not need, except they are persons of interest, to be attended to by immigration officers.”

On his part, Fela Durotoye, senior special assistant to the president on national values and social justice, called for collaboration amongst agencies working at the airport.

Durotoye also said sharing intelligence information, and partnerships will help to create new perceptions about the country in its drive for economic transformation.