The Nigeria Immigration Service [NIS] has witnessed series of changes since it was extracted from the Nigeria Police Force [NPF] in 1958. The Immigration Department, as it was known then, was entrusted with the core immigration duties under the headship of the Chief Federal Immigration Officer [CFIO]. The department in its emergent stage inherited the Immigration Ordinance of 1958 for its operation.
At inception, the department had a narrow operational scope and maintained a low profile and simple approach in attaining the desired goals and objectives of the government. During this period, only the Visa and Business Sections were set up.
On August 1st, 1963, Immigration Department came of age when it was formally established by an Act of Parliament [Cap 171, Laws of the Federation Nigeria]. The head of the department then was the Director of Immigration. Thus, the first set of Immigration officers were former NPF Officers. It became a department under the control and supervision of the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs [FMIA] as a Civil Service outfit.
Since that time the service has come a long way in its march toward reform and repositioning for the implementation of modern migration management.
The structure has been changed to accommodate added responsibilities as well as emerging regional and sub-regional political alignments. The implication was the introduction of the ECOWAS and African affairs/bilateral division. Similarly aliens control and border patrol management were added to the responsibilities of the service.
Furthermore the service was saddled with the responsibility for the issuance of all Nigerian travel documents.
The service embraced the use of ICT in its operations with the introduction of the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card [CERPAC]. The service has since taken giant strides in the use of ICT in it processes and operational procedures, notably the introduction of online payment for its facilities, in other words e-revenue collections by the service popularized this mode of revenue collection, leading it to become a Federal Government policy.
Earlier on the Service created a website with the domain name www.immigration.gov.ng to create a platform for interaction and dissemination of information about its operations to a wide ranging clientele.
The introduction of machine readable electronic passports in 2007 was a landmark achievement by the service in that Nigeria became the first country in Africa to introduce the e-passport and among the first forty countries in the world to do so.
The e-passport has become a major tool in the fight against trans border criminality as it contains the biometric details of holders thus making it easy for detection of persons travelling under false identities or compromised travel documents especially as the service is poised to introduce the PKD at Nigeria’s borders which has been approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
In due recognition of Nigeria Immigration Service’s stride as exemplified above, the International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] the global body that regulates standards for travel documents admitted Nigeria into its board as the sole African representative.
Currently the country is cutting over Machine Readable Passports [MRP] to the electronic passport [e-passport] which initial deadline was December 2010 but now extended to April 2011.
E-passport machines have now been installed in all the states of the federation and some foreign missions while efforts are ongoing to deploy e-passport machines to all Nigerian missions abroad. The Nigeria Immigration Service has been sending its personnel for passport intervention to all regions of the world in line with the Federal Government foreign policy of citizen diplomacy. This implies taking the mobile passport issuing equipments to acquire and process passport for Nigerians in Diaspora.
Another significant achievement in the realm of ICT development is the establishment of a well equipped forensic laboratory for the examination of travel documents and monetary instruments. It is also to be noted that NIS personnel manning this laboratory are highly skilled due to the fact that they have been exposed to a lot of training locally and internationally on document fraud detection and techniques.
The Service has three Directorates: Eight Zonal Offices, Thirty-Six State Commands & Federal Capital Territory and Immigration Offices in the 774 local government areas.
Since inception in 1963, the service has had twelve Comptrollers General.
Mr. David Shikfu Parradang, mni, the new Comptroller General of Immigration Service is an astute officer. Born in Pankshin, Kanke Local Government Area of Plateau State on the 6th of September 1959.
He attended RCM Primary School Mwel Kanke from 1966 – 1969 and completed his primary education at St. Theresa’s Primary School Mwel Kanke in 1972. He then proceeded to Government College, Keffi in 1973 and obtained his West African School Certificate in Division One in 1977.
This excellent grade earned him a direct entry admission into the University of Jos in 1977 to study Sociology and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science, 2nd Class Upper Division degree in the year 1981.
Upon graduation, he proceeded to Anambra State for the one year mandatory National Youth Service Scheme [NYSC].
He subsequently enrolled for a Master degree programme in Public Administration which he successfully completed in 1997.
Mr. David Shikfu Parradang joined the Nigeria Immigration Service as an Assistant Superintendent of Immigration on the 14th day of October, 1982 and has served meritoriously in the following formations:
- Kano State Command at Visa Desk, Entry Permit, ECOWAS and African Affairs, Mallam Aminu Kano Airport and Surveillance Sections, 1983 – 1987.
- .Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, 1987 – 1989.
- Visa Schedule Officer, Lagos Command, 1989 – 1990.
- Diplomatic Desk, Lagos Command, 1990 – 1991.
- Passport Office Ikeja as Admin./Schedule Officer, 1992 – 1994.
- Kwara State Command, Officer in-charge-of Operations, 1994 – 1995.
- Special Assistant to Zonal Coordinator, ACG Zone ‘A’ Lagos, 1995 – 1997.
- Officer in-charge-of ECOWAS and African Affairs, 1997.
- Public Relations Officer, Zone ‘A’ Lagos, 1999.
- Special Duties Officer, Zone ‘A’ Lagos, 1999 – 2001.
- Office of the Comptroller General as Special Assistant, 2001 – 2006.
- Comptroller, Kano State Command, 2007 – 2007.
- Comptroller, Enugu State Command, 2008.
- Comptroller, Kano State Command, 2008 – 2010
- Comptroller in-charge-of Administration Service Headquarters, 2012.
- Assistant Comptroller General [Administration/State Coordination] Service Headquarters, 2012 – 2013, before his present appointment as the Comptroller General of Immigration Service on the 10th of June, 2013 by His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Also in the course of his career, Mr. David Shikfu Parradang attended several professional courses amongst which are:
- Immigration Training School Kano [ITSK], 1982 – 1983 – Basic Immigration Course.
- Weapons Training Course, Police College, Ikeja, 1985.
- Infantry Centre and School Jaji, 6th Para-military Orientation Course, 1993
- 47 National Development Course, FU Hsing Kang College, ROC, Taiwan.
- Second Command Course, Immigration and Staff College, Sokoto, 2004
- Security Awareness Seminar, State Service Academy, Lagos – 2006
- Senior Executive Course [SEC 29], National Institute for policy and Strategic Studies [NIPSS] Kuru, 2007.
- Several Professional Seminars and Conferences.
The Comptroller General has also represented the Service in various committees both within and outside the Service, he has also attended several workshops and presented highly educative papers in the course of his service.
Mr. David Shikfu Parradang, who is an alumnus of the prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies [NIPSS], is happily married with 5 children. It is very pertinent to mention here that despite his busy schedules, he still finds time to enjoy the following hobbies: Reading, Travelling, Tennis and Golf.