The Acting Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) Idris Isah Jere recently paid an unshielded visits to Lagos Passport Offices of the Service. According to Premium Times, the Immigration Boss has discovered the long standing systemic corruption and extortion that has been the normal practice in all passport offices across Nigeria.
Read his experience:
He said his unscheduled visit to Ikoyi on Monday was to confirm the allegations against officers of the immigration offices in Lagos State including Ikoyi, Ikeja, and FESTAC town.
He said when he approached the officers at the Ikoyi command, he was given various high prices for the different categories of passports.
“When I approached the officers, they offered me the menu without recognizing me. They said 32 pages of the international passport for five years would cost me N45,000 instead of N27,000.
They said 64 pages for five years would cost me N55,000 instead of N37,000, and N95,000 for 64 pages for 10 years instead of N72,000.
“I was asked where I was from and I said Niger State. They also asked me if I had a letter of indigeneship and other documents and I said I didn’t have anyone. So they said they would collect N3,500 to provide all the documents for me,” he said.
The immigration boss said as of the time of speaking to Premium Times correspondent on the phone, the officers were yet to know who he was, and that the Comptroller for Lagos Command of the service, Bauchi Aliyu, was surprised when he eventually showed up in his office.
“You know he just returned to Lagos from Abuja. He didn’t know that I was coming to town. So he is still shocked as I am talking to you,” he said.
Mr Idris said the lesson will help the service to strengthen the passport issuance process, saying having an international passport of a country confers nationality on its holder and so it must have integrity.
“So with what I have experienced firsthand today, it simply means that anybody can come in from anywhere and obtain our passport.
This is unacceptable:
So I can assure you that the Immigration Service under our watch will strengthen the issuance process and the integrity of the document,” the acting CG said