Nigeria’s Federal Government says, efforts of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at sanitizing the passport application by bringing integrity is been sabotaged by a ‘few’ corrupt officials of the service.
This is according to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who was in Oyo Town on Tuesday to inaugurate the Nigeria Immigration Service passports front office.
The upper chamber had less than 24 hours, ordered a probe into the operations of NIS to unravel the mystery behind delays in the issuance and renewal of international passports.
The minister said that NIS did not, at any given time, experience a shortage of passport booklets, adding it was “a lie and an excuse by few corrupt officials of the service to extort the applicants”.
Aregbesola’s statement “One of the challenges facing NIS as regards passports application are the few corrupt officials of the service who are undermining the efforts of the service at sanitizing the process and bringing integrity to passports application.
These unscrupulous people are making the situation difficult by the day, if people did not tolerate them, they will not exist again. They are the ones spreading the rumor that there are no booklets in order to continue to extort the applicants.
We did not have a shortage of booklets at any given time; we have enough booklets to meet the need of the people. There are more than enough booklets in our production schedule.”
The Interior Minister however appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience and report NIS officials manipulating applicants for money.
Rauf Aregbesola added that the challenges facing NIS were gradually been tackled, with the construction of more passport front offices around the country.
Writing by Tersoo Nicholas