By Oyebola Owolabi
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to be vigilant and save the country from an imminent third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor, who spoke against the background of the rising positive cases, received the state comptroller of immigration, Bauchi Aliyu, yesterday at the State House in Alausa, Ikeja.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the Immigration has a statutory responsibility to prevent further spread of the virus by keeping their eyes on immigrants coming into the country through the land, sea and air borders. This, the governor said, would help the Incident Command team curtail the rate of transmission and manage cases already confirmed.
The governor urged the NIS to work with frontline responders at ports to ensure in-bound travellers adhere to protocols.
He said: “We are monitoring events that may lead to the third wave of COVID-19, and this is why we need to work together with the NIS. As the gatekeeper, you have statutory responsibility to work with our frontline health workers to ensure that people coming into the country obey our rules and conform with the protocols.
“Nobody is above the law. We have designated some countries as red zones, and this is not discriminatory. We want to be able to monitor anybody coming from countries with high burden of the virus. We want the Immigration Service to play its role so that we can nip the influx of new variants in the bud. We know that the virus is usually imported; we must be vigilant and ensure all protocols and guidelines are strictly observed, especially at airports.”
The governor also accepted Aliyu’s proposal for the mop-up of irregular migrants in Lagos, noting that such operations would help improve security and help the government to identify non-Nigerians working illegally in Lagos.
Aliyu, who praised Sanwo-Olu for the state’s support to the NIS, pledged its readiness to partner the administration to improve the state’s mega city status.
The comptroller also submitted a letter requesting the governor’s support on logistics and operations.