The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday issued a stern warning to men of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Edo State Command, against illegal practices in the issuance of international passports to Nigerians.
Expressing his ministry’s commitment to change the perception of service delivery by the agency for the better, the minister advised Immigration officials to shun tendencies capable of jeopardising federal government’s efforts in ensuring that Nigerians can procure the travel document with ease.
He warned that the ministry under his watch, would not spare the rod in dealing decisively with any official of the service engaged in any illegal practice, stressing that President Muhammadu Buhari was desirous of improving service delivery in the country.
Aregbesola, who spoke at the official Roll-Out of the Enhanced e-Passport in Benin, Asaba and Warri, and the commissioning of the Passport Production Centre, announced that 10, 000 e-passports were available on the platform for applicants. He expressed the commitment of the ministry in changing the perception of service delivery for the better.
“For our men who are quick to tell people that there are no passports just to exploit them; those who give unkind and harsh treatment to passport seekers, they will be dealt with henceforth.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s charge is very explicit to make life easy on getting a passport. President Buhari expressed concern, especially those abroad, in getting passports. So what we are doing now is ro remove all the hurdles. We have 10, 000 passports on this platform, so every Nigerian desirous should be able to get it”.
He disclosed that the enhanced e-passport carries 25 additional security features and is rated to be among the best in the world in terms of durability and quality.
Aregbesola further lauded President Buhari for his support in realising the reform in the agency, stating that work was in progress to completely digitalise the service.
Also speaking, the Acting Comptroller-General of the NIS, Idris Jere, said with the unveiling in Edo, other states in South/South have migrated to the enhanced e-passport, noting that it is the latest in passport technology.
Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki who accompanied the minister to the commissioning ceremony, said the unveiling would bring relief to passport seekers and ease the application process.
Commending the ministry for the foresight, Obaseki said the state government would join the ministry in fighting touting in passport application.