The federal government of Nigeria is unrolling plans to conduct biometric registration of all foreigners who have overstayed their visas, ThisDayLive reports.
Minister of Interior Lt Gen Danbazau made the announcement during a panel session at the International Press Institute (IPI) Congress in Abuja saying that the biometrics gathered on migrants in the country will provide data and enable the authorities to monitor their movements.
“The Ministry of Interior has established a situation room that is connected to the border posts that will enable effective monitoring of what is happening at our borders,” said Danbazau. “I will also be able to see what is happening from that situation room.”
Nigeria has been working to monitor the movement of people, goods, and livestock as it attempts to deal with a longstanding conflict between farmers and herdsmen. Dambazau has said that the biometrics project is necessary under ECOWAS’ free movement treaty, and has appealed to the country’s media and citizens to consider the conflict as a national issue.
“60 per cent of the people in West Africa are Nigerians. You need to know the number of Nigerians who cross the borders to other countries to look for a livelihood. It is important for us to see how we can create a balance between the implementation of the protocol and the security of our borders,” said Dambazau. “We have introduced the use of biometrics in other to ensure that we take account of every person that comes into Nigeria.”
Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is planning to register 70 million citizens for National Identification Numbers (NINs) by the end of 2019, out of an estimated population of more than 190 million.