Nigeria Immigration Service is a government agency, a para-military outfit charged with the responsibility of migration management in Nigeria. NIS was extracted from the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in 1958, but by 1963, Immigration Department (as it was then called) was formally established by an Act of Parliament CAP 171, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. Then, the head of the department was known as the Director of Immigration. On October 1st 1992, the designation of Director of Immigration was changed to “Comptroller General of Immigration Service” (CGIS), thereby granting the service a para-military status. The service has come a long way in its march towards reformation and restructuring to be better positioned for the implementation of modern migration management. NIS core responsibilities includes the following:
I. Control of entry, exit of all persons entering and leaving Nigeria and monitoring of all Non-Nigerians in Nigeria.
II. Manning all Nigeria’s border posts (Land, Sea and Air)
III. Border patrol and surveillance.
IV. Implementation of Nigeria’s extant visa regime
V. Issuance and control of all travel documents
VI. Execution of deportation and repatriations orders
VII. Implementation of various treaties (bilateral, multilateral) entered into by Nigeria with other countries.
Nigeria Immigration Service is a regimented organization that has two (2) broad categories of officers:
A. Commissioned and
B. Non-Commissioned Officers.
Both categories are grouped into cadres comprising different ranks. Currently there are four (4) cadres of ranking in the organizational structure. The cadres in ascending order are as follows:
- Immigration Assistant Cadre
- Inspectorate Cadre
- Superintendent Cadre; and
- Comptroller Cadre.
1. IMMIGRATION ASSISTANT CADRE (NON-COMMISSIONED)
School Certificate holders belong here. The I.A Cadre comprises of five (5) ranks of non-commissioned officers, which includes:
I. Immigration Assistant III (IA3):
IA3 is the least rank in the service. It is on CONPASS 03, i.e Consolidated Para-military Salary Scale Three (or GL. 03). Their badge of rank is ONE STRIPE.
II. Immigration Assistant II (IA2):
Refers to CONPASS 04, identified with TWO STRIPES.
III. Immigration Assistant I (IA1):
Refers to CONPASS 05, identified with THREE STRIPES.
IV. Senior Immigration Assistant (SIA):
Refers to Immigration personnel on CONPASS 06, identified with ONE STRIPE THAT HAS A SHIELD WITH A WAVY PALL AT THE MIDDLE OF THE STRIPE (The shield symbolizes the meeting of the Niger and Benue Rivers at Lokoja, just like the one on Nigeria Coat of Arm).
V. Chief Immigration Assistant (CIA):
On CONPASS 07, identified with THREE STRIPES, TWO OF WHICH HAS A SHIELD WITH A WAVY PALL
Chief Immigration Assistant
2. INSPECTORATE CADRE (NON-COMMISSIONED):
This cadre comprises of eight (8) ranks of Non-Commissioned Immigration Personnel. It ranges from personnel’s on CONPASS 06 through CONPASS 13. CONPASS 08 and above in this category are non-commissioned officers due to HND and B.sc disparity in the Nigeria Public and Civil Service. Although there are calls for the removal of the disparity, Nigeria Immigration Service is yet to scrap the HND/B.sc dichotomy. The ranks under this cadre are as follows:
I. Assistant Inspector of Immigration (A.I.I):
The AIIs are on CONPASS 06. Their rank insignia is TWO STRIPES, EACH HAS A SHIELD WITH WAVY PALL. They are personnels employed with Ordinary National Diploma or NCE (National Certificate in Education).
II. Inspector of Immigration (I.I):
Inspectors are on CONPASS 07. Assistant Inspectors upon promotion move to Inspector of Immigration. Their rank insignia is THREE STRIPES THAT HAS A SHIELD WITH A WAVY PALL AT THE MIDDLE OF EACH STRIPE.
III. Senior Inspector of Immigration (S.I.I):
Senior Inspectors are Immigration personnel’s promoted from the rank of Inspectors, or those employed with Higher National Diploma into the service. They are on CONPASS 08, their rank insignia is a SHIELD WITH a WAVY PALL.
IV. Principal Inspector of Immigration II (P.I.I. 2 ):
Senior Inspectors upon promotion, moves to principal inspector 2 on CONPASS 09. Their rank insignia has ONE STRIPE ADDED TO THE SHIELD WITH A WAVY PALL.
V. Principal Inspector of Immigration I (P.I.I 1):
Upon promotion PII2 moves to PII 1 on CONPASS 10. Their rank insignia has the SHIELD AT THE MIDDLE OF TWO STRIPES.
VI. Assistant Chief Inspector of Immigration (ACII):
Consequent upon promotion, PII 1 moves to ACII on CONPASS 11. Their rank insignia has TWO SHIELDS WITH A STRIPE IN-BETWEEN.
VII. Deputy Chief Inspector of Immigration (DCII):
ACIIs who are being promoted moves to DCII on CONPASS 12. Their rank insignia has TWO SHIELDS WITH A WAVY PALL.
VIII. Chief Inspector of Immigration Technical (C.I.I.T):
This is the limit where personnel’s on Inspectorate cadre can attain. They can’t move beyond this rank unless they are CONVERTED to superintendent cadre. DCIIs upon promotion moves to CIIT where they are meant to remain and wait for retirement unless they are converted with their Bachelors degree (B.sc, BA, B.ED, B.Tech, etc). That’s for those who might have obtained it through further studies. Their HNDs can NOT take them beyond Chief Inspector. The rank insignia has TWO SHIELDS WITH TWO STRIPES IN-BETWEEN THE SHIELDS. Chief Inspectors of Immigration are on Grade Level / CONPASS 13 and they wear brown Gorget Patches on their collar, just like their fellow CONPASS 13 counterparts in Comptroller cadre. The Gorget patches are similar to ‘Red Neck’ in the military (like we normally call it in Nigeria).