By Bukar Bolori
The Hon Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has expressed the readiness of Nigerian government to cooperate with India on total eradication of fake Nigerian passports into India.
Aregbesola gave this assurance in his office at the weekend while receiving the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Gangadharan Balasubramanian Indian,
who was on a courtesy visit to the Minister.
According to the Minister, Nigeria will ever remain grateful to the Government and people of India for her support to Nigeria during the country’s anti-colonial struggle that led to Independence.
He pledged full cooperation of the Federal Government with India, through the Nigeria Immigration Service, to put a stop to the activities of unscrupulous persons and syndicates engaging in fraudulent procurement of fake official Nigerian travelling documents to enter India illegally.
He also called for closer collaboration with the India government through provision of useful information and intelligence reports that will assist in unmasking those involved and their modus operandi with a view to get them arrested to face the the full weight of the law.
On the issue of some arrested mariners caught on a ship, accused of illegal activity, the Minister said the government will prefer that the judicial process run its course; eventhough he will try his best to see if the issue could still be handled on humanitarian ground.
The Minister made it abundantly clear that Nigeria frowns at all illegalities, and will not condone procurement of fake visas by individuals in order to gain false entry into another country.
Aregbesola however, implored the High Commissioner for technical assistance through scholarships and professional courses/ trainings as part of partnership co-operation that will enhance the performance of it’s paramilitary agencies like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp, which is a civil protection Corp that responds to emergencies as well as complement the Police in maintaining law and order.
In his remarks, the High Commissioner who lauds the cordial relations existing between Nigeria and India, promised to explore more areas of co-operation that will further strengthen the bi-latera relation between the two friendly countries.
The High Commissioner later disclosed that already, seven agencies of government including the Nigeria Immigration Service are currently undergoing relevant courses in India as demonstration of partnership support to Nigeria. He also thanked the Minister for his warm reception.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore commended the High Commissioner for his visit and reiterated the commitment of the Ministry to achieve improved service and efficient service delivery through investment in capacity building for the Ministry’s staff and agencies.