The Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executive for Good Governance in Nigeria (COCMEGG), an umbrella body of over 150 Civil Society groups, NGOs, Activists and Media Executives that have advocated for transparency, accountability and good governance regime in Nigeria, recently bestowed on the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, MFR, the award of “The Most Outstanding Comptroller – General of Immigration of the Decade” for his bold rebranding and repositioning of the NIS for effective service delivering of its core mandate, human capacity development, staff promotion/welfare, transparency, accountability and good governance practice that have become a hallmark at the organization; effective border security and management, resulting in the reduction of trafficking in persons (TIPs) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOMs).
The honour was accorded him after a critical analysis of his performance in repositioning the NIS since he took over the mantle of leadership. It is on record, that the NIS has witnessed a tremendous turnaround in the transparent management and issuance of passports and ensuring that other travel documents meet international standards to the public; reforms that have reduced physical distance and travel time to get services available; giving prompt priority to discipline, training and re-training of officers and men for enhanced standard and proficiency at work place have been inculcated into the system. The increased “esprit de-corps” and the high morale within the rank and file including a highly motivational workforce, which is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Next Level Agenda, resulting in the current re-organization and institutional capacity building of the officers and men of NIS.
The Coalition emphasized that the Commandant-General of NIS, was honoured for his transformational leadership that has brought about discipline, transparent use of funds, and probity in the management of men and resources; haven repositioned and modernized the NIS for professionalism and effective service delivery. The Coalition has identified with the CG as a patriot with a quest for total transformation in the NIS thereby re-enforcing the public trust reposed on his office like never before in the annals of history, such as the laying of foundation for technology building to leverage the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in its operations, the institution of machines readable electronic passport, creation of service website, activation of the SERVICOM Desk, forensic laboratory services for the execution of travel documents and monetary instruments coupled with the introduction of the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC).
While responding, the Comptroller-General, thanked the Coalition for the honour bestowed on him, as well as appreciated the present administration for giving him the enabling environment to work. CG Muhammad Babandede dedicated the prestigious award to the NIS as a whole for sacrificing their time for the good of all. He welcomed the vibrant new Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, saying the NIS will assiduously work with the new Minister’s blueprint, with his fatherly and selfless support as an achiever, he observed, the sky is just the beginning for the service.
In conclusion, he thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians without whom, the Immigration Service and its officers and men wouldn’t have been where they are today and appreciated the enormous support given to the NIS.
Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele Com. Peter Emuekpere
President, COCMEGG Secretary, COCMEGG