The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, SAN, has stressed the need to strengthen the country’s immigration service to address illegal cross-border movement.
Malami disclosed this on Friday in Abuja when the Coalition of Integrity Political Parties visited his office to congratulate him on his reappointment as a minister.
While speaking on the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, he said that the immigration services should be overhauled to profile people travelling out of Nigeria and checkmate illegal immigration.
The minister described the situation in South Africa as unfortunate, saying that it bordered on foreign policies and immigration issues in the African continent, since other nationals, aside Nigerians, were also affected.
He said that strengthening the immigration services would help to account for Nigerians in foreign countries, including South Africa.
Malami described the habit of going through the Mediterranean Sea and deserts by some people, in their bid to travel out of the country, as illegal and unfortunate.
Malami urged the youth to quit crossing the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara deserts in the quest to seek for greener pasture.
“This is very important because by now, we should have been able to know who and who are in South Africa to defend the helpless and hapless Nigerians.
“There is no greener pasture anywhere than in our country. With farmlands everywhere, we must work harder rather than look for cheap means to migrate from the country when nobody is chasing us.
“This is one of the problems I see when our people travel abroad illegally, which is now posing a challenge; if they were to be here, we would have been able to account for their whereabouts.
“It is sad to know that some of them ran out illegally through the Mediterranean Sea to Libya and other countries, which is posing big problem,’’ he said
Malami noted that an overhaul of the nation’s immigration services would help to promote documentation of travellers through the country’s airports and land borders.