31ST JANUARY. 2002




be called nupon to parlare open It is my honour and pleasure to welcome you all to this Retreat for Senior Immigration Officers. Specifically, I will like to welcome our knowledgeable and distinguished resource persons whose indepth knowledge on professionalism in Nigeria Immigration Service will unequivocally be imparted to the retreat participants.

2. Let me begin by congratulating the organizers of this Retreat for their efforts and sacrifice in making it a reality. I have no doubt in my mind that the Retreat will provide ample opportunity for all participants to rub minds and share experiences and ideas that would be beneficial to the Service and the nation. This gathering will surely offer you the unique opportunity to look inwards and more closely at the activities of your Service and then chart a course that would not only promote intra-service relationship but make you relevant in the current effort towards democratization and economic reengineering of our country.

Distinguished officers and men of the Nigerian Immigration Service permit me to recall with nostalgia sometime in 1994, when I was privileged to address a conference of controllers of Immigration on Refugee matters in your training school in Sokoto.

I must say with all joy, that I observed the enthusiasm and the eagerness with which the participating Controllers were ready to listen and learn issues, matters and new dimensions to their jobs. I hope that spirit has not changed.

4. My dear officers and men of Nigeria Immigration Service, times have changed, events have taken place and indeed new circumstances have arisen since we met last in Sokoto. Your professional challenges then was necessarily anchored on new dimensions of Immigration control. In particular the dynamic nature of the immigration duties at our various boarders, immediately should call to mind that part of your challenges then were how to handle refugee immigrants, armed rebels across the boarders, ordinary travelers and indeed cross boarder bandits. 

These challenges no doubt you had managed under the then Military Government with military dispatch. While I make bold to assert, that the challenges mentioned above are still very much around us, I must note with due sense of patriotism that your greatest challenge under a civilian administration such as we have today in Nigeria is how to manage these cases with civilian dispatch or if you like how you manage these cases with due sense of the rule of law and total submission to civil authority.

5. This no doubt calls for a new orientation, which will produce a new attitude to work, renewed commitment to professional code of conduct and indeed an improved moral and ethical standards with emphasis on integrity, transparency and patriotism.

I have no doubt that this Retreat is focused on these objectives. Retreats had no doubt become an effective medium for individuals and institutions alike to seclude themselves from the hustle and bustle of public oftice to look inwards with a view to examine their consciences, capacities, abilities and input or output towards a set target or occupation in life.

My distinguished audience, you may recall that on assumption of office, as President of Senate, I was challenged with a way forward toward charting a golden cause of reorientation and renewal of our commitment to our national duties. Given these imperatives. I didn’t need a consultant to tell me that the Senate needed a retreat. This we did not take time in putting in place and it was held in far away Calabar.

Ladies and Gentlemen permit me to say that the retreat paid off and so contributed greatly to a long stretch of stability in the Senate. You may also recall, that the Federal Executive Council have made retreat part of its regular time table apparently due to the ethical gains, due from it.

Accordingly, I have no doubt that this retreat will provide you with the most desired forum for exchange of ideas, expansion of your frontiers of knowledge and of course the renewal of your minds to new commitments to national progress. As your partner in progress, I have my expectations of this retreat. therefore crave your indulgence to say that after this retreat I expect to see:

(I. Officers who will be loyal, dedicated and think of what they can do to contribute to the development of our great country;

(I). Officers who, while on duty, will be cheerful and courteous to investors, visitors and tourists, and yet remain firm:

(iii). Officers who will realize that admitting one illegal or prohibited alien is illicit and inimical to the progress of the country;

(IV). Officers who will show the light for others to follow or emulate in the attainment and obedience of the new professional code of conduct and approved moral behaviour;

(V). Officers who will lead the anti-corruption campaign and ensure their subordinate’s compliance; and in addition the Nigeria Immigration Service after this Retreat should come up with a lot more other policies that will change positively your ethics, your sense of responsibility, dedication to duty and patriotism – all with the aim of redeeming the image of this country and your Service.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honour and pleasure, at this juncture therefore, to declare the Retreat open. I wish you successful deliberations.

Thank you for your kind attention and God bless.

Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON.

President of the Senate

Federal Republic of Nigeria

This day: January 31* 2002.