UN, Canada Hand Over MIDAS Equipment to Nigeria Immigration Service as International Travel Resumes
31 December 2020
“Canada is proud to partner with IOM and the Government of Nigeria on the delivery of these MIDAS systems.
On 4 December, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with support from the Government of Canada, handed over equipment to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to strengthen migration and border management capacity in the country.
The handover will enable NIS officials to deploy the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS). The system allows to collect, process, store and analyze traveler information and share data in real-time across an entire national border network.
The equipment includes 56 desktop computers, 50 sets of fingerprint scanners, passport readers and webcams, among other items which will be distributed among the international airports in Abuja, the country’s political and administrative center, and Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
The event was held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in the Nigerian capital at a time when international travel continues to increase following a five-month closure of the Nigerian airspace due to COVID-19.
The Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos registers more than 6.3 million passengers every year, making it the busiest air travel hub in West Africa, and the fifth in all of Africa. However, half of its passenger processing points (PPPs) are not equipped with border management information systems such as MIDAS. Similarly, in Abuja, the second largest airport in the country, 50 per cent of the immigration booths lack this system.
“We’ll continue to ensure that investment in border management is effectively utilized and border officers are trained and accountable,” said Muhammad Babandede, Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service. “A safe border in Nigeria is a safe border in Canada and everywhere in the world,” he added.
“Canada is proud to partner with IOM and the Government of Nigeria on the delivery of these MIDAS systems, which will support Nigeria’s efforts to strengthen its border management, by providing it with greater control of migration movements into and out of the country,” said Mr. Ryan Ward, Deputy High Commissioner, High Commission of Canada.
“Nigeria is the country with the largest and most complex deployment of MIDAS worldwide,” said Yuki Daizumoto, IOM Immigration and Border Management Programme Coordinator. “This donation, which is made possible with the support of the Government of Canada, signals our sustained partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria to optimize the economic, social and political benefits of international mobility,” she added.
Under this intervention, 56 processing points will be supplied with MIDAS equipment in the two international airports, which will allow authorities to process travelers more rapidly and professionally. It will also help curtail security risks by automatically checking all recorded entry and exit data against national and international watchlists from INTERPOL and other sources and achieve real-time synchronization of data between the international airports and the NIS Headquarters in Abuja.
Earlier this year, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari praised the installation of MIDAS—which officially launched in November 2019—in five international airports.
This initiative is supported through the MIDAS Expansion at Air Borders in Nigeria project funded by the Government of Canada through its Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)).