Thursday 2 June 2016

New Immigration boss vows to eliminate corruption at passport offices in Nigeria

Nigerian Passport
The new Comptroller General of the Nigeria immigration Service (NIS), Mr Muhammad Babandede has pledged to decentralise and eliminate corruption at all passport offices in the country.

Babandede disclosed this in an interview on Thursday in Abuja. He said that the decentralisation and reorganisation of the passport offices, was part of the sweeping reforms that has been embarked on by his administration.
“The minister of interior, Rtd Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau has tasked me to embark on this reform.

“We have taken stock of previous reforms, so what we are doing now is to decentralise the process, so that everybody do not need to come to Abuja for their passport,

“You know this creates tension in the system and even encourages corruption because of the pressure,’’he said.
He said he has also given approval to the state commands to commence the change of name due to marriage and replacement of lost passports which was hitherto done in Abuja.
“Approval for replacement of lost passports shall henceforth be given by state comptrollers after online vetting and processing of application at the Passport Division in the Service’s headquarters,’’ he said.
The Immigration boss said that as part of efforts to root out corruption at passport offices, the official fees/categories of passports will henceforth be displayed at various passport offices to ensure transparency.

According to him, the 64 page e-passport still costs N20,000, 32 page booklet costs N15,000 (18-60 years) while those below 18 years and above 60 years cost N8, 750.

He urged Nigerians to insist on paying the official fees at the designated passport offices or pay online at the official immigration website to avoid exploitation by touts and agents.

Babandede said the NIS was also working to ensure availability of all categories of passport booklets, especially the 32 page booklet which is always in high demand to avoid any confusion.

He assured that additional passport offices will also be opened in state commands where the existing passport office is getting overwhelmed with demand to ensure efficient service delivery.

Credit: Vanguard

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