IKOT EKPENE (AKWA IBOM)- The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Akwa Ibom Command, on Wednesday advised its officers and men to clampdown on all forms of sexual exploitation around the border communities in the state.
The Comptroller of NIS in the state, Francisca Dakat, gave the advice while declaring open a two-day sensitisation workshop for officers and men of the command at Four Points, Sheraton in Ikot Ekpene.
Dakat told the personnel that the workshop was to create awareness and equip them for mainstreaming project of the Modernising Nigeria Immigration Service (MoNIS).
The Comptroller said that gender mainstreaming was aimed at making deliberate policy to integrate men and women interests into all stages of planning, implementation and evaluation programmes.
She said that the gender mainstreaming project would ensure gender equality and equity in workplace, equal opportunity for male and female personnel to enjoy gender inclusivity in recruitment, deployment and training.
“This sensitisation workshop is intended to equip you with the knowledge on NIS Gender Policies framework on Gender Issues, how to deal with Gender Based Violence (GBV), Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).
“I enjoin you to take advantage of this privilege and make the best out of this opportunity presented by the service in partnership with the International Center for Migration Policy Development,” Dakat said.
The state comptroller said that the NIS had put in so much in human resource development, especially in areas like Migration Management and Border Management.
She commended the Acting Comptroller General of NIS, DCG Caroline Adepoju, and the implementation partner, International Centre for Migration Policy and Development (ICMPD) for extending the workshop to the command.
Earlier, the Deputy Comptroller of NIS, Adekemi Ojo, said that gender mainstreaming was an essential aspect of development that recognises the different needs of men and women in the society.
Ojo said the project would involve ensuring that issues related to gender are integrated into all policies, programmes and activities to ensure men and women have equal access to resources and opportunities.
She reminded participants that the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse were serious issues that affected men and women, boys and girls and was prevalent all over the world.
Ojo, NIS – ICMPD focal person, said the workshop was aimed at addressing these issues and strives towards reducing the ills or completely eradicate where possible.
“As officers and men of NIS, we shall also remind ourselves of our code of conduct and ethics as it relates to sexual exploitation and abuse.
“As major players in the field, it is important that we are knowledgeable in all of these areas to ensure that we do not fall victim.
“We should also operate within the rules of engagement of the service.
“We hope that at the end of the workshop, we will have gained insights and knowledge that will enable us take proactive action in implementing gender mainstreaming,” Ojo said.
She urged the participants to pay attention to the resource persons to be more informed on the negative impacts of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Ojo said the workshop would better equip participants to tackle these issues in their various communities and workplace.
The resource person, Dr Eddy Akpomera, speaking on the topic: “Imperativeness of Gender Mainstreaming and Key Pointers in NIS Gender Policy” described gender mainstreaming as equity and fairness.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that personnel were drawn from NIS formations across the state. (NAN)