The Federal government has called for regional collaboration among ECOWAS member states for effective and efficient migration management within the West African sub-region.
The Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. (Rtd) Abdulrahman Dambazau, made the call at the opening ceremony of the ECOWAS Heads of Immigration Meeting in Abuja.
He pointed out that collaborative effort among the member states of ECOWAS would mitigate the incidents of irregular migration and the attendant criminal activities.
The Minister stated that the Meeting of the ECOWAS Heads of Immigration would strengthen cooperation amongst member states in the implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in view of the widespread security challenges in the region.
He encouraged participants at the meeting to fashion out modalities for strengthening capacity and synergy in intelligence gathering and sharing among relevant agencies of the Member States.
In a welcome address, the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, said the ECOWAS Heads of Immigration Meeting was convened to create the opportunity for management teams of the respective Immigration Services across the sub-region to compare and share notes on operational knowledge and experience.
According to him, the Meeting is also expected to examine the level of implementation of the various initiatives/programs of the ECOWAS Commission on Migration Management and fashion out measures for reducing irregular migration among member states.
Babandede further said the Meeting would deliberate on the implementation of ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Establishment; develop a common strategy on global issues on Migration and Development, among other issues.