Immigration At 60 Lecture: Facilitator Harps On The Need For Knowledge Enhancement Among Officers.
Immigration At 60 Lecture, as part of the celebration marking NIS anniversary was a lecture presented by a retired ACG, Mr. Idowu Adebowale, who emphasized the need for officers and men of the Nigerian Immigration Service to acquire more knowledge and improve themselves, stressing that an improved officer will bring about improved service delivery.
Mr. Adebowale presenting the lecture.
Mr. Adebowale, a former ACG, Osun State Command made this assertion on Wednesday while delivering a lecture titled, “Enhancing Seamless Regular Migration,” organized by the zone ‘A’ command of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, as part of the programmes lined up for its 60th anniversary at Ikeja, Lagos state.
The ACG, K.A Sadiq and other senior officers while reciting the National Anthem at the event.
He stated that enhancing the service without the manpower would not produce the right results and advised the officers to prepare themselves with relevant knowledge to be able to project into the future.
The guest lecturer who gave historical background of the Service and the various progressive developments till date also advised the officer to plan for life after retirement from the service so as to cope with life and future challenges.
Mr Adebowale and other senior officers.
In an interview with newsmen, Mr. Adebowale who revealed that he joined the service with one degree but retired with three other degrees said, “What I want the officers and men of the Nigerian Immigration Service who are witnessing the 60th anniversary ceremony today to take away from my lecture; “Enhancing Seamless Regular Migration” is knowledge; if you are enhancing the service, the manpower within the service should also have enhanced knowledge.
“Number two is for them to know the historical background of the service they are working in. What we used to do analogue for those of us who joined the service earlier than them, they did not witness it because most of them are children born in the digital era and so needed to know that for us to have been 60 years now, there must have been a way we used to do things before we migrated to what they know now. So, the seamless flow from the ancient to the modern one now will help them to project into the future because whoever does not have knowledge of his background is bound to make a mistake.
“Knowledge of what we used to be, where we are now and together we can project into the future though our own is just advisory as teachers, we are willing to guide the young ones into a brighter future and when they too gets to our age, they too will be able to guide those who will be in the system in the future.”
“Any obstacle you meet and you cannot overcome it, that’s how you stagnate. So, they must be able to solve it and move forward. Next is for them to start preparing now for life after immigration; Immigration will remain; no officer in Immigration will remain forever.
So, when they are here, they should learn because they will move into the area where they will become advisers to those who are still left behind. What will you advice when you do not have anything you have imbibed now? So, they must improve themselves. I came into the service with only one university degree, that’s the starting point for your rank, but you can start with what you entered with and then improve yourself. You must improve yourself to improve others.
What I’m telling them now is that while you are in the service, you must have recognized some deficiencies within yourself and to also identify deficiencies within the service. So, when you improve yourself, you will be able to improve the service.
DCI Ojo and other senior officers.
An improved officer leads to an improved service and also leads to an improved nation.” On his advice to the new CG on how to rid the Service of Passport racketeering, the former ACG who retired in 2019, said, “Passport production involves booklets, the booklets are not produced in Nigeria and you do not pay naira for it, you pay foreign exchange for it. Meanwhile, the amount people pay for it remains the same though the exchange rate fluctuates.
If you are able to buy ten thousand booklets now with the current exchange rate, by the time the exchange rate goes up, it can only mean that the same amount you made from the sale of Passport can only bring fewer numbers of booklets because we are not allowed to increase the amount we sale Passport.
“So, this means that with improvement in the exchange rate, there will be more booklets to come in. Number two is that we Nigerians should also ask ourselves, you are not ready to travel now or anytime soon and yet you want to get a Passport now as a status symbol. Passport is not a status symbol, it is a travel document.
A lot of people are not traveling in the next ten years and yet they want to have passport just to tell their neighbor they have passport as if it is a chieftaincy title. It is not! So, there’s a lot of pressure to get passport.
“Almost 60 percent of those who are getting passport are not going to travel any time soon but every Nigerian who comes to apply for a passport will demand it comes out within a week or two and this is where the problem lies.
When you are now provoking people with urgency and desperation, that’s where the problem lies. So, people should take things easy. “It’s not as if passport is going out of circulation; anytime you want a passport, you will get it. Yes, some times, there can be systemic issues like the breakdown of machineries, those things will be fixed and I’m happy that they are opening more offices now and bringing in more machines so as to serve people within their localities so that people will not have to go far. Before, there used to be only one passport office in Lagos and people used to travel far to get there but now, there are four offices.”
Responding, the host, ACG/zonal coordinator of zone A, Ikeja, K.A. Sadiq, thanked the guest lecturer for homouring his invitation to come and speak to the officers. He charged the officers to put into good use the knowledge they had been exposed to and to improve themselves and prepare for life after retirement so as to avoid sickness or even death shortly after retirement.
Earlier, an officer of the service, ACI O.A Owoyemi, gave a lecture on the theme, “New Visa Policy 2020”, which ex-rayed the various Visas available to travelers, the processes, changes and conditions for their issuance.