The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) said on Wednesday in Abuja that it denied 31,556 foreigners entry into the country between January and May.
The NIS Public Relations Officer, Joachim Olumba, said that the agency refused the foreigners visas following a Federal Government order on closure of the borders.
President Goodluck Jonathan had ordered the closure of some of the country’s borders on January 1, in his New Year national broadcast.
Mr. Olumba said 5,603 illegal immigrants were also repatriated from the country during the period under review.
He said discussions are on between the immigration service and other relevant agencies to remove settlement areas around the country’s borders.
“The aim is to build new communities for settlement so as to give the people a sense of belonging as their relocation is important to resolving the current security challenges in the country,” Mr. Olumba said.
He stressed the need to resettle and empower border settlers to discourage their involvement in illegal activities in the area.
Mr. Olumba said a situation where people live along the borderlines is further frustrating the efforts of the service to control illegal movement of people and contrabands in the border.
He said the service is also exploring a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to tackle challenges in the management of the country’s borders.
“The arrangement will entail the construction of border plazas with high technology migration facilities, offices and barracks for security operatives,” he said.