Substance Abuse: Testing For Immigration Officers Begin

Substance Abuse: Testing For Immigration Officers Begin

The Federal Government has flagged off a substance abuse test exercise

for officers and men of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) across
the country.

With this flag-off, the Nigerian Immigration Service will henceforth
carryout compulsory substance test on Cadet Officers and new
recruits before sending them for training.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in a virtual conference
tagged “The Test Begins With Me,” described the test project as apt,
considering the number of youths involved in drug abuse, according to figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) statistics.

Recall that the Federal Government had through the Comptroller-General
of the Service, Muhammad Babandede, mandated personnel of the NIS to
undergo drug test to ensure proper handling of weapons in the course
of duty.

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Aregbesola, who explained that abuse of hard substance goes beyond the
consumption of hard drugs, added that “it includes alcohol which also has
negative effect on the productivity level of its consumers”.

He noted that the consumption of these substances has left more negative impact on the health of officers who consume it than can be imagined.

NIS Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede, noted that within the
framework of the statutory duties of the Service, Immigration officers
are saddled with the duty of bearing arms in line with their mandate
on ensuring effective border security.

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He said, “It’s against this backdrop that the service moved to
establish safeguards against substance abuse while ensuring a safe and
healthy work environment for all our officers and men. He added that
the exercise is aimed at prohibiting the possession, sale or use of
harmful substances that can inhibit the capacity of the user to
perform these statutory duties.

He said this would check-mate the habit of substance abuse and the
effect intake of these substances may have on our role of service
delivery to the civil populace.  The NIS boss stated that the choice
of the theme “The Test Begins with Me” is strategic because it is
aimed at ensuring that its officers and men are tested, and can relate
with it and stay committed to it.

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“We cannot afford to be careless with weapons, hence, all officers of
the service will undergo drug test beginning with me. We shall not
dismiss anyone at first discovery but we would try to rehabilitate.
“However, if the fellow continues unrepentant, administrative
procedures will be followed and appropriate sanctions applied,’’ he
said.

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