The Akwa Ibom Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says it has retrieved 10 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from foreign nationals resident in the state.
The state Comptroller of Immigration, Mr Abdullahi Garba, made this known on Thursday in Uyo while interacting with newsmen on his command’s readiness to assist INEC in the forthcoming elections.
He explained that the PVCs, which had been returned to INEC, were surrendered to NIS after the command’s meeting with nationals of ECOWAS countries residing in the state.
“We have told all foreign nationals resident in the state that elections are our internal issue, so they are not to vote and they cannot be voted for.”
He said that the command had identified settlements in the 31 local government areas of the state tagged ‘black spots’ and would mop up irregular migrants for repatriation before the elections.
The comptroller said that in 2014, a total of 451 irregular immigrants were repatriated from the state by the command with the help of Gov. Godswill Akpabio.
He said that in November last year, the command assisted in the rescue of two trafficked victims from human traffickers.
Garba further said that the command had issued a total of 9, 744 passports to Nigerians within the last one year.
He said that a total of 214 foreign vessels and 5, 223 crew members coming to the state for crude oil transactions were cleared by the command last year.
The comptroller said that immigration control posts in the state gave clearance for 2, 686 persons travelling out while 2,007 persons were allowed entry into the state last year.
He said that in 2014, the command refused entry to 67 immigrants.
He said that the command generated N141.9 million revenue in 2014, adding that in January this year, the command generated a total of N13.9 million from its services.
Garba said that the greatest challenge of the command was accommodation.
“We are sharing offices with the civilian populace in the Federal Secretariat.
“The situation here does not allow for discipline among officers the way a security agency does and no space for detention of irregular immigrants,” Garba said.