Govt Warns Immigration Officer Over Passport Racketeering


Passport Racketeering: FG to install body cam on immigration personnel
Olusola Bello
The Federal Government on Thursday said it would ensure that body cameras are installed on security operatives to prevent all forms of racketeering at passports offices.
Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who made known this new policy, said touting, solicitations, extortion, hoarding and inflation of the costs of obtaining passports would be met with serious punishment by the government.
The  minister who was at the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS)Headquarters in Abuja  for the meeting of the Comptroller-General of Immigration with Passports Officers and Attaches in Missions warned the officers that any one cut would be  severely dealt with
According to him: “We are turning round the entire passport application process in a way that is easy, seamless,transparent and will accord human dignity to applicants and fulfil citizenship integrity.
“Therefore, I am declaring a zero-tolerance stance to all forms of touting. No applicant will be made to pay any
“Therefore, I am declaring a zero-tolerance stance to all forms of touting. No applicant will be made to pay any illegitimate fees.
The minister, who enumerated the challenges facing the Service especially “shortage of booklets, touting, racketeering, inflating the cost, and passports being issued to ineligible persons, “ noted that it would no longer be business as usual again in all passports desks.
Fourth, applicants will have no basis for further communication with officers, other than to complete their application process and leave the venue.
“The date for the collection of their passports or any challenge to the application will be communicated to them. The technology for the efficient running of this system has been acquired and will be deployed.
“Fifth, we are publishing on our website the list of the backlog of passports that are ready, which are yet to be collected by the owners. They will be required to go to the state commands to collect them.
“With these changes, it is my firm belief that we will arrive at a new dawn in passport application processing.”

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