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80 officials on trial, eight dismissed for passport racketeering – NIS

Nigeria Immigration Service

No fewer than 80 officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service are on trial for the collection of illegal fees for the issuance and renewal of the Nigerian passport.

The Public Relations Officer, Comptroller of Immigration, Mr Tony Akuneme, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday, in Abuja.

Akuneme also stated that eight other officers had been dismissed from service for the same offence in the last one year.

He said the disciplinary measures were part of the three-point agenda introduced by the present NIS Comptroller General, Isah Jere, namely: passport issuance reform, tightening border security, and improving the welfare of NIS officers.

“We have tried as much as possible to eliminate third parties so that if you really want, you can process the application of your passport from the comfort of your room on your laptop, android phones and you can pay online.

“You don’t really need anybody, whether immigration officers or agents, which we usually call touts. They have upgraded and become agents. They are still third parties.

“The problem we have is the use of third parties because no matter how much reform you put in, you will always see a learned and civilised person using a third party to process his or her application,” Akuneme said.

The NIS spokesman stressed that the CG had vowed to discipline officers trying to sabotage the reform process.

“We have continued to punish NIS officers and men who try to assist people for a fee. You can assist people genuinely but not extorting money from them,” he said.

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