FG installs MIDAS tech at international airports, land borders

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*Aregbesola

The federal government has installed Migration Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, 14 land and two sea borders to check irregular migration, human trafficking and other cross-border crimes.

Speaking during the inauguration of the system at Abuja Airport on Tuesday, the comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Muhammed Babandede said the border management technology would also be installed at four other airports in the country.

“I am glad to note that MIDAS has already been deployed at 14 land borders and two seaports which has greatly enhanced our ability to harness records of migration flow at the nation’s borders.

“It is important to note that most high profile criminals travel by air; with the deployment of MIDAS in three International Airports, we are ready to tackle transnational organised crime,” said Babandede.

He said the project was a collaborative effort of the NIS, the Danish government and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The immigration chief explained that the device collects, processes, stores and analyses migrant information in real-time across the border network, and provides a strong statistical base for security, migration policy and planning.

Babandede also disclosed that the MIDAS was designed to process and record both biographic and biometric details of passengers’ movement for the purpose of identification, biometric verification, inspecting, authenticating travel document, collecting and analysing data of migrant information in real-time across the border network.

The system, the NIS boss noted, would also help in processing and analysing the data collected towards a more complete understanding of the country’s migration dynamics and mobility patterns.

“MIDAS as border security tools will equally automatically check all recorded entry and exit data against national and International Police alert lists toward ensuring that those attempting to cross our national borders do not pose a threat to national and international security, and are not using stolen or lost travel document,” he added.

Babandede also announced that over 300 officers had been trained in MIDAS’ installation and use and 50 others in ICT-related courses.

Speaking at the event, the minister of interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola said the project has serious implications for national security, especially in the light of Nigeria’s quest to have a comprehensive record of all migrants within its shores.

He said the technology would prevent wanted criminals from infiltrating the country as well as bar anyone on security watch list from leaving.

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