BY: Nick Nwaneri, Calabar
The Cross River State Command of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has sought deeper collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in a bid to effectively tackle immigration challenges in the state and the country at large.
The Comptroller of Immigration Service, Cross River State Command, Simbabi Chris Baikie, made the plea, when he received in audience the newly inaugurated executives of the Cross River State Council of the NUJ in Calabar.
He called on the media not to renege on its agenda-setting role to invoke the consciousness of Nigerians to the fact that security is everyone’s responsibility.
Congratulating the new NUJ leadership, the Comptroller expressed delight in the Exco’s thoughtfulness of visiting the Command, emphasizing that “Immigration duties require the full cooperation of the media. We need you to assist us in the effective propagation of issues, especially on migration and other immigration policies.”
Recounting the hitherto hospitable, mirthful and peaceful reputation of Cross River, the NIS Comptroller, however, lamented the recent spate of security concerns bedeviling the State, reiterating that “the media has a wonderful assignment to set agenda for both the government and the governed to get things right in the country.”
He challenged journalists to carry out their legitimate business in absolute compliance with the ethical standards of their profession.
“We are statutorily expected to track and monitor activities of immigrants and expatriates in the country for the sake of national security. The NUJ as the umbrella body media professionals must assist us in that direction,” the NIS official pleaded.
The Cross River NIS principal, who warned traditional leaders against untoward issuance of certificates of origin to non-Nigerians, also reminded citizens that “it is patriotic to inform the Immigration Service of questionable immigrants in their neighborhoods in order to check cross-border migration.”
He urged the public to visit the NIS online platform to access other friendly ways of processing passports and other immigration services.
Earlier, the NUJ, Cross River State Council Chairman, Comrade Nsa Gill, assured the Command of his Union’s preparedness to collaborate with the NIS on possible ways of mutual benefit, while calling the NIS to keep its doors open to journalists at every beck and call to enable effective dissemination of immigration information for the betterment of the Service and the general public.
“Truth, accuracy, and objectivity are cornerstones of journalism ethics. This new leadership has zero tolerance to unethical practices and other improper behaviors. We will try our utmost best to instill professionalism in our members,” the NUJ Chairman assured.