The Nigerian Immigration Service has announced the temporary suspension of passports and migrant registration due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) virus in the country.
Muhammad Babandede, Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service has ordered the NIS to suspend processing passports and electronic registration of migrants across the country, as a result of Coronavirus.
Giving the directive in Abuja on Tuesday, Babandede stated that the suspension begins from March 23rd, 2020, to April 23rd, 2020, in line with Federal Government earlier directive on the restriction of international flights.
He however added that the NIS would take advantage of the suspension period, to process all pending passports.
Also, the NIS, Lagos State Port and Marine Command, has stopped issuance of shore passes to foreign crew members calling at the nation’s seaports.
Public Relations Officer of the Port and Marine Command of the NIS, Augustus Maisor, says the move is part of measures to curb the spread of Coronavirus, COVID-19, through the seaports’ entry points.
He said the decision was in line with Federal Government’s recent directive for all officers on Grade Level 12 and below to away from work as a measure to curtail the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The decision was reached after considering the rising number of infected persons in the country as released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and NIMC’s desire to ensure the safety of all Nigerians coming for enrolment, as well as that of its staff members,” a statement from the commission reads.
It explained that the closure was meant to curtail Covid-19 pandemic by encouraging strict adherence to social distancing and observance of necessary precautions.
The statement said NIMC, like other well-meaning Federal Government agencies, considers the health of Nigerians to be of paramount concern.
“Therefore, it is our hope that together, we would tackle the Covid-19 pandemic so that life can return to normalcy, and we can resume enrolment soonest”, he added.