BY ADEGWU JOHN, Abuja
In an effort to make the acquisition of Nigerian passport seamless and devoid of sharp practices, comptroller general of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Muhammad Babandede has warned applicants to desist from patronising touts and third-party during the application and processing of passport.
Babandede who handed the warning in a statement issued by the service public relations officer, DCI Sunday James at the weekend said the service had introduced online process and payments aimed at eliminating touting and complains of extra charges when applying and processing passport.
He added that many Nigerians who fell victim to sharp practices were those who could not do without cutting corners by using touts or third party when they could process and pay online themselves.
The CG reaffirmed that unless touts and third party are stopped been patronised by many applicants, the complains would not cease and even the best offer by the service would not yield result.
He also urged applicants to avoid the rush syndrome of “I need the passport urgently” unless for those on medical ground, adding that the service had always given priority at all times including using mobile enrollment machines to capture such individuals at home and hospitals due to health related concerns.
“The Comptroller General of Immigration Service Muhammad Babandede while appreciating positive criticisms and comments on shortcomings of some passport offices, he encourages passport applicants to avoid touts, third party and do their processing online both application and payment and keep reporting any default or extra charges to the service.
Every effort put in place to eradicate sharp practices in passport offices will continue as far as the applicants will not resist, report and do online applications and payments and avoid the urgent syndrome. The service has resolved to prosecute both the giver and receiver of extra charges as corruption must be fought by all,” he said.