This article will be looking at the Nigeria Immigration Service, ranks, symbols, and salary structure. You will be fully enlightened.
Firstly, we need to establish foundational knowledge about what the Nigeria Immigration Service is all about and the role they play in our country. So what is the Nigeria Immigration service?
According to immigration.gov.ng, “The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) is the government agency that has been charged with the responsibility of migration management in Nigeria”.
The Nigeria Immigration Service was extracted from the Nigeria Police force in August 1958. It was formerly known as the Immigration Department headed by the Chief Federal Immigration Officer (CFIO) and Mr. EH Harrison was the first person to attain this position. Furthermore, this Governmental Agency adopted the Immigration Ordinance of 1958 for its operations, which allowed them to maintain a low and simple profile to achieve the desired goals and objectives of the Government.
The only section the Nigeria Immigration service began with, in its early stage, was the Visa and Business section. It continued with that section till, the agency gained its ground through an Act of Parliament, Cap I71, Laws of Federation Nigeria on the 1st of August 1963.
Under this new Act of Parliament, the head of the agency was now referred to as the Director of Immigration and the first set of Immigration Officers were deployed from the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). But following some reforms and a Government white paper which took place on the 1st of October, 1992, the position of Director of Immigration was changed to Comptroller General of Immigration Service and this gave the agency a para-military status.
More so, the first person to attain this position of Comptroller General of Immigration Service was CGI Garba Abbas. Since the establishment of the Nigeria Immigration service down to date, the agency has undergone various reforms, implementation, and administration.
One of the implementations the Agency has adopted is the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in carrying out its duties. This led to the introduction of the Machine Readable Passport (MRP) in June 1998 and the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) in 2001. This wasn’t the only useful implementation the agency adopted, they also brought about online payment for their services which helped in creating e-revenue for the government and they became the first government agency to adopt the use of electronic payment.
The Nigeria Immigration Service is also the first Immigration service in the whole of Africa to make use of an e-passport because, the agency improved on the Machine Readable Card (MRP), following the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
This single act by the Nigeria Immigration service brought about an e-passport on the 17th of May 2007 under the leadership of CGI CJ Udeh OFR. The introduction of e-passport serves as a vital tool in fighting trans-border criminality because it employs the use of biometric details which makes it difficult for multiple acquisitions and identity theft. Besides, the National Assembly passed an Immigration Act into law on the 25th of May, 2015 and this law created an additional Directorate known as Migration Directorate to assist the Nigerian Immigration Service in carrying out its duties.
Now that foundational knowledge about the advent of the Nigeria Immigration service has been established, it is also necessary to know what their duties are so that you can understand what they stand for.
Roles And Functions Of The Nigeria Immigration Service
- Controlling people’s movement in and out of the country.
- Issuance of travel documents to Nigerian citizens within and outside the country.
- Giving out Residence permits to foreigners residing in Nigeria.
- The Agency also performs border surveillance and patrol.
- They also enforce laws and regulations.
- Issuance of various types of visas.
- They also provide Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) to Nigerians.
- They also arrest and deport illegal or prohibited immigrants.
- They keep biometric data.
- They foster a good relationship with other Agencies.
- They play a major role in the distribution of e-passports.
- They help to maintain a good relationship between Nigeria and other countries.
The Nigeria Immigration Service symbol is made up of an Eagle placed at the top of a shield containing a wide-open book. Then the eagle, shield, and book all stand on a green floor which signifies fruitfulness in the land.
Just like every other paramilitary agency in Nigeria, the Nigeria Immigration service is also made up of ranks and each rank has its salary structure. The Nigeria Immigration Service is made up of the following ranks arranged from the highest position to the lowest in the agency;
- Comptroller General Immigration Service (CGIS)
- Assistant Comptrollers General (ACGI)
- Assistant Comptrollers (AC)
- Superintendent of Immigration
- Assistant Superintendent of Immigration (ASI)
- Senior Inspector of Immigration (SII)
- Assistant Inspector of Immigration (AII)
- Immigration Assistant (IA)
- Passport Officers
Amongst these ranks, the lowest rank known as the Passport Officers makes at least thirty thousand Naira (N30,000) every month excluding allowances, thereby making a total of three hundred thousand Naira (N360,000) per annum or even more. It’s quite difficult to determine how much the remaining ranks make but the highest rank in the agency makes at least three million Naira (N3,000,000) every year and it doesn’t include some allowances he or she may gain. If you want to apply for a post in the Nigeria Immigration Service, you must bear in mind that the agency is not only made up of ranks, it’s also made up of eight (8) Directorates and seven (7) Units, namely:
- Human Resource Management
- Planning, Research & Statistics
- Works & Procurement
- Finance & Accounts Directorate
- Investigation, Inspectorate & Enforcement Directorate
- Operations & Passports
- Border Management
- Visa and Residency
- Internal Audit
- Internal Security
- Press and Public Relations
- Anti-Corruption and Transparency.
In conclusion, it is mandatory to know that educational qualifications and certificates play a major role in determining a Nigeria Immigration Officer’s salary because a Bachelor’s degree holder or graduate can’t earn the same thing as a WAEC certificate holder. It is known that a graduate in the Nigeria Immigration service earns at least a hundred and fifty thousand Naira (N150,000) per month excluding some allowances and other bonuses, while a WAEC certificate holder earns about thirty thousand Naira (N30,000) per month excluding some allowances and other bonuses.