The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has expressed the readiness of the Federal Government to cooperate fully with the Indian Government on the stoppage of fake Nigerian passports to travel into India.

Ogbeni Aregbesola gave this assurance in his office while receiving Mr. Gangadharan Balasubramanian, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, who was on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.

According to the Minister, Nigeria will remain grateful to the Government and people of India for her support to Nigeria during Nigeria’s anti-colonial struggle that led to her Independence.

This was contained in a statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Interior, Afonja Fatai Ajibola, on Sunday in Abuja, saying the Minister pledged full cooperation of the Federal Government with India, through the Nigeria Immigration Service to put a stop to the activities of unscrupulous persons and syndicates involved in fraudulent procurement of fake Nigerian traveling documents to enter India illegally.

He called for closer collaboration with the Indian Government by providing helpful information and intelligence reports that will assist in unmasking those involved and their modus operandi to get them arrested to face the total weight of the law.

On the issue of some mariners caught on a ship, accused of illegal activity, the Minister said the Government would prefer that the judicial process run its course, even though he would try his best to see if the issue could still be handled on humanitarian ground.

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The Minister clarified that Nigeria frowns at all illegalities and will not condone individuals’ procurement of fake visas to gain false entry into another country.

Ogbeni Aregbesola, however, implored the High Commissioner for technical assistance through scholarships and professional courses/training as part of partnership cooperation that will enhance the performance of its paramilitary agencies like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), which is a civil protection Corps that responds to emergencies as well as complement the Police in maintaining law and order.

In his remarks, the High Commissioner, who lauded the cordial relations between Nigeria and India, promised to explore more areas of cooperation that will further strengthen the relationship between the two friendly countries.

The High Commissioner later disclosed that already, seven agencies of Government, including the Nigeria Immigration Service, are currently undergoing relevant courses in India as a demonstration of Partnership support to Nigeria. The Indian envoy also thanked the Hon Minister for his warm reception.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, commended the High Commissioner for his visit and reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to improving service and efficient service delivery through investment in capacity building for the Ministry’s staff and agencies.



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