Nigeria has partnered with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) through the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to launch a new Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at the Abuja International Airport.
According to Punch, the Comptroller General, NIS, Muhammad Babandede disclosed that MIDAS would allow Nigeria to adequately monitor the entry and exit of people over and across the air, sea and land, assisting the government to understand travel patterns.
The NIS reportedly disclosed that the IOM system would enable immigration and border officials to process travellers faster and even more professionally as well as make border-crossing experience safer and even more humane. The system is also expected to ensure that those crossing Nigerian borders do not pose threats to national and international security.
“To date, the project represents the largest deployment of MIDAS at any airport globally and it will be implemented in four other Nigerian airports welcoming travellers in Lagos, Enugu, Kano and Port Harcourt. This marks a breakthrough for Nigeria which hopes to establish one of the world’s largest MIDAS data networks,” IOM said.
MIDAS is expected to enable the Federal Government to create sound migration policies through sound statistics generated by the system.
Meanwhile, the Ambassador for Migration Denmark, Nicolai Ruge, whose government is reportedly the major supporter of the project to enhance air border data systems in Nigeria, stated that MIDAS would generally improve Nigeria’s border management.
“MIDAS would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Nigeria’s air border management by strengthening NIS’ ability to manage and facilitate cross-border movements.”
According to the IOM, MIDAS would enable synchronisation of real-time data between the airports and the NIS headquarters in Abuja to effectively monitor entry and exit while automatically flagging and reporting travel document and individuals linked to transnational organized crime to INTERPOL
The IOM Senior Programme Manager, Ivanka Spadina, said the installation of the system was the beginning of strengthening the borders.
“With the support of the international community, we will continue investing in strengthening legal, technical and operational capacities of Nigerian authorities in the area of border management in line with international standards and good practices.”