Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has disclosed that no fewer than 239,114 outbound and inbound travellers passed through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja between January 1, and December 15, 2020.
Of this figure, NIS also said that 73,582 Nigerians and 46,665 non-Nigerians departed NAIA for various destinations abroad, while 81,277 Nigerians and 37,590 non Nigerians arrived through the same airport in the period under review.
A statement made available by Service Public Relations Officer, DCI Sunday James further revealed that a total of 625 Nigerians were deported and 24 others repatriated for various criminal and immigration related offences abroad.
In the same vein, 12 foreign nationals who failed to comply with Nigerian entry requirement were refused admission and returned.
“No fewer than 239,114 outbound and inbound migrants passed through NAIA, Abuja between 01st January 2020 and 15th December, 2020. So far, 73,582 Nigerians and 46,665 Non Nigerians departed NAIA, Abuja for various destinations abroad. Similarly, 81,277 Nigerians and 37,590 Non Nigerians arrived through NAIA airport within the period under review.
“A total of 625 Nigerians were deported and 24 repatriated for various criminal and immigration related offences abroad. In the same vein, 12 foreign nationals who failed to comply with Nigerian entry requirement were refused admission and returned.
“Thirty four (34) Nigerians predominantly females (young ladies) were refused departure for non-compliance and violation of immigration regulations and other extant laws. The young ladies were victims of human trafficking being transported for the purpose of forced prostitution and sex exploitation and were between the ages of 18 to 28.
“Their final destination was Dubai, UAE. Upon interception, they were profiled and forwarded to NIS Service Headquarter for further investigation and released to NAPTIP for rehabilitation. In the same vein, the change of operational strategy lead to the uncovering of the persons recruiting and trafficking these ladies via sting operation where six (6) recruiters/traffickers were apprehended (4 males and 2 females). In addition, the identities of 3 recruiters/sponsors resident in Dubai were equally uncovered.
“The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command, within the period under review, received and handed over 100 Nigerians whose offences are not immigration related to relevant agencies, that is, drug related issues, Financial Crimes, Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants,” the NIS said.
Reviewing the operational activities of NIS at the Abuja Airport, James informed that the year birthed a global pandemic issue; the COVID-19, that prompted nations’ of the world to enforce mandatory lock down and border closure before its eventual relaxation within the year.
This, according to him, led the nation through the NIS to step up personnel protection to insulate them from contracting COVID-19 through the installation of glass shields that separate the operatives from passengers, use of face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitizers among others.
James said the review will be incomplete without acknowledging the impact of the Comptroller General’s transformation agenda in the deployment of Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) to enhance air border management at all the Airports.
With the deployment of this veritable platform, the Airport Command has been experiencing smooth and seamless passenger processing.
According to him, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, commended the Comptroller of Immigration Service, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command, Sadat Hassan, ‘for operating an air tight entry and exit point that resulted in those various arrests.’