Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has challenged the Nigerian Immigration Service to provide accurate data of expatriates to check loss of revenue.
Governor Okowa made the call today when the Comptroller, Nigerian Immigration Service, Delta State Command, Mr. Baba Ali Zakari led officials of the agency to pay him a courtesy visit in Asaba.
The Governor who expressed surprise that the Immigration Service had accurate records of expatriates in Delta State observed that such should be made available to the state Board of Internal Revenue Service to ensure that revenue accruing to the state and the country is not lost.
“I am glad that we are monitoring and supervising the expatriates quota in the state because, sometimes, we hear about them (expatriates) coming in; they work and live here and because proper records are not kept on them, the state and nation loses in terms of revenue that is derivable from taxes that are supposed to be paid by them; so, I am glad that you (Immigration Service) have given us the number of expatriates in the state at the moment and the Board of Internal Revenue will look into its records to ensure that it correlates with your records and if it does, we can take it up immediately because, we know that there are sharp practices by some of our companies that are involved in the oil sector,” Governor Okowa said.
-urges NIS to intensify actions against criminal activities-
Governor Okowa also used the occasion to state that with active immigration service, crime rates would be reduced, especially in Delta State where the Police have noticed that most of the crime committed in the state were by foreigners.
According to him, “we are very much aware that there is a lot of work for you (Immigration) to do and that there is greater need to continue to monitor immigrants who are within the various localities in the state; so, I am glad to hear that you have officers distributed through the local government areas because, we know that crime rate is increasing now and it is time for us to become more cautious about allowing people come into our states.”
“We know that the law in Nigeria allows us to move freely but, it is important that the people who come into our state are properly documented because, only recently, some criminals that were caught, some of them are foreigners as the Commissioner of Police did report to me,” he said, stating, “we have to be proactive in continuously monitoring the people that come in, sometimes some of these people do not stay in hotels, they stay in all sort of slums and places we do not expect them to be, and that is a challenge especially when we have to deal with the issues of kidnapping; it is important that we continue to work along with our sister institutions to monitor this.”
The Governor also, charged Immigration to step up its activities on checking human trafficking in the country, noting, “we have begun to see a lot of human trafficking and children being sold; though many of the children are sold within the country; they may also be moved out of the country, so, there is need for collaboration between the various security agencies in the monitoring of what goes on and I thought this had to be brought to the fore.”
Earlier, Mr Zakari said the visit was to brief the Governor and members of the state executive council of the activities of the Immigration Service in the state.
He thanked Governor Okowa’s administration for its numerous assistance to the agency especially, the construction of access roads to the Immigration Office in the state and also, the Governor’s commitment to ensuring security of lives and property in the state, disclosing that the Immigration Service was not relenting in repatriating illegal immigrants in the state.