The Nation (Nigeria)

COVID-19 third wave: Immigratio­n must be vigilant, says Sanwo-olu

- By Oyebola Owolabi

LAGOS State Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu has urged the Nigeria Service (NIS) to be vigilant and save the country from an imminent third wave of the coronaviru­s pandemic.

The governor, who spoke against the background of the rising positive cases, received the state comptrolle­r of immigratio­n, Bauchi Aliyu, yesterday at the State House in Alausa, Ikeja.

According to Sanwo-olu, the Immigratio­n has a statutory responsibi­lity to prevent further spread of the virus by keeping their eyes on immigrants coming into the country through the land, sea and air borders. This, the governor said, would help the Incident Command team curtail the rate of transmissi­on and manage cases already confirmed.

The governor urged the NIS to work with frontline responders at ports to ensure in-bound travellers adhere to protocols.

He said: "We are monitoring events that may lead to the third wave of COVID-19, and this is why we need to work together with the NIS. As the gatekeeper, you have statutory responsibi­lity to work with our frontline health workers to ensure that people coming into the country obey our rules and conform with the protocols.

"Nobody is above the law. We have designated some countries as red zones, and this is not discrimina­tory. We want to be able to monitor anybody coming from countries with high burden of the virus. We want the Immigraimm­igration tion Service to play its role so that we can nip the influx of new variants in the bud. We know that the virus is usually imported; we must be vigilant and ensure all protocols and guidelines are strictly observed, especially at airports."

The governor also accepted Aliyu's proposal for the mop-up of irregular migrants in Lagos, noting that such operations would help improve security and help the government to identify non-nigerians working illegally in Lagos.

Aliyu, who praised Sanwoolu for the state's support to the NIS, pledged its readiness to partner the administra­tion to improve the state's mega city status.

The comptrolle­r also submitted a letter requesting the governor's support on logistics and operations.

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