Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday urged the Nigeria Immigration Service to nip in the bud, the influx of new COVID-19 variants and save the nation from imminent third wave of the virus’ spread.
He urged the NIS to ensure that all passengers coming into the country are duly monitored and accounted for.
He 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 Nigeria.
He said the NIS has a statutory responsibility to prevent further spread of the virus by keeping its eyes on immigrants through land, sea and air borders.
Sanwo-Olu, who received the Comptroller of the Lagos State Command of the NIS, Bauchi Ahmed Aliyu, in a courtesy visit at the State House, Alausa, urged the NIS to work with frontline responders stationed at ports of entry across border posts to ensure that in-bound travelers adhere to laid down COVID-19 protocols.
He had earlier raised the alarm over the disappearance of some air passengers who came into Nigeria via Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos but could not be reached for COVID-19 status monitoring because they supplied wrong contact details.
“We’re 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. Nobody is above the law. We’ve 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 know that the virus is usually imported; we must be vigilant and ensure all protocols and guidelines are strictly observed, especially at airports,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu accepted the Comptroller’s proposal for mop-up of irregular migrants in Lagos, saying it would help improve security in the state and aid the government to identify non-Nigerians working illegally in Lagos.