Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has tasked security agencies, especially the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, to be more vigilant and save the nation from imminent third wave of covid-19.
The Governor spoke against the background of fresh transmission recorded in the past few days in Lagos and confirmation of highly contagious Delta variant of the virus in the country.
While playing host to the Comptroller of the State Command of the NIS, Mr Bauchi Aliyu in Alausa Ikeja, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the Immigration Service has a statutory responsibility to prevent further spread of the virus by keeping their eyes on immigrants coming into the country through land, sea and air borders as this would help the Incident Command team to curtail the rate of transmission and manage cases already confirmed.
Gov Sanwo-Olu and the visiting Immigration team over the weekend, Governor Sanwo-Olu had raised alarm over the disappearance of some air passengers, who came into the country via Murtala Mohammed International Airport but could not be reached for COVID-19 status monitoring because they supplied wrong contact details.
As the gatekeeper, Sanwo-Olu charged the NIS to work with frontline responders stationed at ports of entry across border posts to ensure in-bound travellers adhere to laid down COVID-19 protocols.
He said: “We are monitoring events that may lead to the third wave of COVID-19 in the country and this is why we need to work together with the Nigeria Immigration Service. As the gatekeeper, you have statutory responsibility to work with our frontline health workers to ensure that people that are 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 urged the Service to ensure passengers coming into the country were duly monitored and accounted for and promised continued support and collaboration with the Service to make the State safe for investment and living.
Govenor Sanwo-Olu accepted the Comptroller’s proposal for the mop-up of irregular migrants in Lagos, noting that such operations would help improve security in the State and aid the Government to identify non-Nigerians working illegally in Lagos.
Earlier, Mr Aliyu Bauchi praised Governor Sanwo-Olu for supporting the NIS and appealed to the state government to assist the Command with of a Command befitting the Lagos Smart and mega status.