Nigeria's Frontline Responders Receive Essential Equipment to Ensure Safe and Healthy Borders

Published Date: 
Tue, 12/01/2020 - 17:15
Country: 
Nigeria

Abuja – Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, movement restrictions in Nigeria significantly have reduced local and international air travel. But with the easing of those restrictions, and as cross-border activities in the country increase, so does the risk of disease transmission at the country’s points of entry (PoEs).

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Nigerian authorities, UN agencies, and international partners are joining forces to strengthen the capacity at land, sea, and air borders.

On 27 November, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland hosted a ceremony at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to hand over personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitation and hygiene supplies, and computers to Port Health Services (PHS) and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) officials.

“The world is indeed a global village, and the global health chain is only as strong as the weakest link,” said Dr. Alex-Okoh, Director of Port Health Services.

“The handover will foster a safe working environment for these two frontline border agencies (NIS and PHS), and protect the officers and persons crossing the borders from the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mohammed Sadiq Abubakar NIS Border Drill Comptroller.

A total of 7,120 boxes, 8,543 items including PPEs such as face shields and surgical masks as well as 5,596 liters of sanitizing products will be distributed to 19 PoEs including five international airports, seven land borders, and seven sea borders. Thirty-nine desktop computers and four laptops will be donated to support automated border processing of travelers in compliance with the already operational Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS).

Developed by IOM, MIDAS is a border management information system that collects, processes, stores and analyzes traveler information and shares data in real-time across an entire national border network. Effective traveler identification helps to optimize the economic, social, and political benefits of international mobility and to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To date, IOM has completed the installation of the MIDAS system at 25 locations.

“Now, more than ever, the future of our mutual health and economic prosperity relies on close collaboration and support. The UK government is pleased to be providing the front line services at Nigeria’s points of entry with equipment that will ensure that air, sea, and land borders are safe and healthy environments to work in and travel through” said Gill Atkinson, British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria prior to the event.

For the fourth consecutive week, COVID-19 cases continue to steadily increase. As of 23 November, the country has recorded 66,383 confirmed cases and 1,167 deaths.

“As movements to and from Nigeria resume, we are reminded that the pandemic is far from over” said Yuki Daizumoto, IOM Nigeria Immigration, and Border Management Programme Coordinator. “Through this intervention, we are equipping border officials with the tools to ensure the health and safety of both Nigerian and international travelers in line with a well-organized and efficient border management,” she added.

This initiative is part of the Immediate Response to COVID-19 Pandemic for Effective Border Management in Nigeria project funded by the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

For more information please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: jgalindo@iom.int