In order to monitor and control activities of expatriates due to the security threats in the country, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has begun the use of Electronic Passenger Registration System, e-PARS.
The NIS says the measure became expedient in view of the security situation in the country and the need to check activities of illegal immigrants and terrorists in the country.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, NIS Public Relations Officer, Mr Ekpedeme King, disclosed that the Federal Government had approved the use of the e-PARS as part of efforts to check terrorism and in line with international best practice.
The e-PARS is an electronic registration platform which allows NIS to capture data of expatriates that have entered Nigeria but are not captured under the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) residency scheme. The system provides for effective monitoring of expatriates/visitors right from arrival till they leave the country.
Expatriates were further warned to endeavour to renew their CERPAC and necessary documents accordingly before they expired or risk arrest, deportation or fine.
According to Mr King, the Comptroller-General (CG) of NIS, Mr Martin Abeshi, had ordered immigration officers at all entry points into the country, especially airports, to enforce the directive on e-PARS and also advised them to familiarize themselves with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) facilitation resolution.
The NIS was also deploying automated border control technologies to strategic international airports in the country to ensure proper security check and scrutiny of those entering the country. In collaboration with organisations, such as banks, the NIS is set to ensure that only immigrants with valid documents were attended to while those with expired documents were arrested.
While calling on Nigerians to remain vigilant and report any immigrant involved in suspicious activity to the nearest security operative or NIS command, Mr King assured that NIS would also intensify its raids on hotspots where illegal immigrants had made their abode across the country.