The Cross River State Comptroller of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Barr. James Okey Ezugwu has revealed that all Fulanis who are not Nigerians will be captured in the current NIS e-registration exercise going on in the 18 local government areas of the state.
Ezugwu stated this in Calabar on Monday during a breakfast meeting with newsmen.
He said, “Fulani who are non-Nigerian and other entities who are not Nigerians, but residing in Nigeria will be captured”.
Ezugwu said the Service began e-registration of all migrants in the entire 18 local government areas of Cross River State, explaining that the e-registration was not to find out “Whether the person has a mission or not but to know that he or she is here”.
The Comptroller said the profiling of migrants was much more important because Cross River State, being a border state, was a haven for foreigners.
“We are commencing the registration of migrants in all the eighteen local government areas of the state. Every migrant must be captured and profiled so that we can be held responsible. It helps in planning and enhances our productivity, security wise.
“Cross River State occupies a strategic place when it comes to boundary issues. Our peculiar situation makes it imperative to account for every foreigner in the state,” the Comptroller said.
He however said that: “The essence of profiling is not to find out whether he or she (immigrant) has a mission or not, but to know that such person is here. It is not a medium to find out who has overstayed or find out one’s status, but to know where you are.”
He also said that there were two types of immigrants: those who were required to register and those who were exempted from registering.
“There are two categories of immigrants: those who are expected to register and those who are exempted from registration. Those who are to register include visitors staying for more than ninety days; residents who are non-Nigerians and ECOWAS Nationals.
“Those who are exempted are: persons under the age of 18; persons enjoying diplomatic immunity and immigrants staying in Nigeria for less than ninety days,” he said.
Ezugwu maintained that registration was free and appealed to landlords in the state to assist in identifying foreigners living in their houses in order for the registration to succeed.