The Spanish government Wednesday honoured the former Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS), Mr Mohammed Babandede, for his services to humanity.
Babandede was honoured with an award of Order of a Civil Merit, said to be the highest national honours of the country. Theaward was presented to him in Abuja by the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Marcelino Ansorena.
Ambassador Ansorena said the award was presented to the former NIS boss for devoting his life to the service of his country and strengthen relations with other countries, which was important to the international community. He said the award was a civil recognition by His Majesty, the King of Spain, conferred on few individuals who have distinguished themselves in their line of duty.
“This is what we call the order of a civil merit, so it’s a civil recognition done by His Majesty, the king of Spain and it is given to few people that deserves it and Babandede has been kind and a gentleman and now is an official of the merit order of Spain.
“A couple of days back, I think it was on a Friday I attended a ceremony of recognition of the very good work Babandede has done over 40 years, working with the NIS.
“He was recognised as one of the few Nigerians who have devoted their lives to the service of their country and to fellow citizens, his wife and children are very proud of him and we in Spain are also very proud of his work.
“We have also been working shoulder to shoulder at the international community. We have had more than 50 years of diplomatic relations and I can assure you that the relationship with the formal CG is very important to us, we’ve been working together against human trafficking and the International Organisation for Migration too,” he said.
Speaking after receiving the award, the former NIS boss described the award was an honour to all Nigerians at home and in Diaspora.
“Also it is given to some foreigners who distinguished themselves in the services to humanity and in the good relationships to such country.
“I am glad today that I am the recipient of that order and I might be the first to be honoured with this kind of award, and to me is a great honour that I should be more dedicated that the good job we have done under this administration has been recognised by another country,” he said.