Extortion: Nigeria Immigration bans cash payments at passport offices‎

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has banned cash payments for passport processing as part of efforts to eliminate corruption at all passport offices nationwide.‎

NIS spokesperson, Sunday James, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

He‎ said the Comptroller General of the NIS, Muhammad Babandede, had directed that henceforth all payments for passport processing must be done online and through designated banks‎.‎

He said the NIS boss had, in a circular, directed‎ all passport control officers not to allow cash payments in any of the passport premises.

“All payments in respect to passport processing are to be done by applicants through banks to generate application ID and reference number on the NIS portal and not through an individual or touts,” Mr. James said.

This followed reports by PREMIUM TIMES exposing entrenched corruption at passport offices, where Immigration officials connive with touts to rip off applicants.

According to him, the NIS CG has also ordered an‎ investigation into allegations of passport racketeering at some passport offices in Lagos with a view to sanitising the system.‎

Mr. James therefore urged passport applicants to ensure that all categories of Nigerian passports fees were done online.

‎“Passport applicants are therefore strongly advised to visit the NIS website www.immigration.gov.ng to confirm the approved fees for all categories of Nigerian Passports and age groups before making payments,” he added.

He said the management of all passport offices have been directed to paste all information required at the premises to guide applicants in line with the executive orders.

He urged Nigerians to direct any complaint or enquiries to 07080607900 and the email address nis.servicom@nigeriaimmigration.gov.ng.

The spokesperson advised applicants against patronising touts or agents‎ in order to ensure efficient service delivery.

The NIS boss had vowed to stamp out corruption in the operations of the NIS as part of efforts to reposition the Service and ensure efficient service delivery. (NAN)


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  • Watch man

    This is a good move but you guys at the top pretend as if this will end the extortion/bribery at your office. Any officer that wants to frustrate you will still do so until you bribe him or her. The modern solution I see is as follows: get everything done online, that is, let each person register online, pay online and install the biometric software on his computer (so as to do biometric himself). Those who are not computer literate can go to accredited centers to do their biometrics. This way the corruption of money extortion/bribery would have been greatly minimized if not eliminated.

    • Apostel

      exactly

    • Domingos

      This is the problem with Nigeria. Instead of you to call for resignation of the DG for not knowing or allowing the fraud that has over the years been visible to the blind and audible to the deaf, all you can say is that his belated face saving action is a good move. Really your action is repulsive. It has no other name, it is called Mumudity.

      • Bola

        what is the way forward? the DG and watchman have given some direction, give yours but if the resignation of th DG is your way forward, im sorry yo are not making point

        • Watch man

          Don’t mind the effectual buffoon. I believe he did not even read my post well.

  • Alfred

    Pay at the bank and wait for six months to hear from them. But pay extra into staffs account and get it after 3days

    • Okokondem

      Thank you for reaching the same conclusion I did immediately after reading this report. If there is one thing Nigerians are good at it’s coming up with fresh ideas for evading the law, and the staff at immigration are no exception. You can mandate payment for immigration services with Bitcoin and people working there will figure out how collect bribes.

      Fighting corruption in Nigeria effectively will require a one-two punch of psychological and tactical approach. Changing the mode of payment is is only a tactical solution. Reeducating Nigerians to the pitfalls of corruption and the virtues of fighting it is a psychological approach and much more tougher.

      • Yego V

        You don’t expect the body and tail of fish to taste nice when the head is rotten. Nigerians are rich with positive ideas, but impotent in execution

    • udemeobong

      lol.

  • RISING Sun

    Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo….not again! So the Nigerian Immigration service is also headed by a someone from the North? How come over 90% all heads of all FEDERAL agencies are headed by widely acclaimed educational laggards from the North who pride themselves in being “Educationally disadvantaged”? Can someone please tell me any arm of the Military, Security services, or Federal agency headed by someone from the East?


    I think I see President Nnamdi Kanu’s point.

    • zacchaeus Akinleye

      Chris Ngige heads the Labor Ministry.

    • omo56

      Whenever staff of Nigerian Immigration service comes to Arizona, they are mostly from South East and Nigerians who are not from South East rarely gets there passports renewed or obtain new ones

  • Arc_Deji_Alabi

    Positive move

    • May

      Well it sounds positive, but most staff are bunch of wicked souls with the primary aim of frustrating you… I’m talking out of experience from the New York Consulate of Nigeria. No one accept cash but creating unnecessary bureaucratic and shoddy job makes life a living hell… Bro, they will evolve to some thing worse, give it time.

  • Amin

    sadly, it will take a century for this simple law to become effective considering that it is always difficult to repent from sin especially stealing

  • marc umeh

    That the passpot office is a cesspool of corruption is no news. This has been going on forever. That’s why it is not easy to get a job there.
    I hope the leadership now has the WILL to solve the problem . That’s all that is needed. If we have to , then engage a computer company in india , and this problem will disappear immediately.

    • Kay

      Why engaging a software developing company in India when we have competent software developing companies in Nigeria?

      • udemeobong

        Don´t mind the unpatriotic and anti-nationalist.

        • thusspokez

          It is not about patriotism but ignorance. In Nigeria, some people even call Indians, white people.

    • Oladapo Sunday

      Are you an Indian ?

      • marc umeh

        No I am not an indian. But it would have been better for the country if we had contracted out the construction of Ajaokuta Steel industry. Now billions upon billions of dollars was wasted. That’s patriotism for you.

    • thusspokez

      then engage a computer company in india , and this problem will disappear immediately.

      If the Indians are that good, name one global Indian software company.

      • marc umeh

        I understand people being upset at the mention of Indians. I will never argue about indians being superior to nigerians. Read my text again. We know what to do to fix our problems. Yes we do . And often we can. But we lack the will to do the needy. That’s why we have the best plans but fail to execute.

  • Mosley

    These people are not serious. Let passport applicants pay through REMITA and tender their receipt to the NIS for verification and processing of their passports.

  • udemeobong

    In order for this to work, they have to send the next officer culprit or going against this order immediately to jail. That way, the system will clean. Remember, Nigerians don´t like suffering even when they every minute of the way. They want to die even they are being killled inhumanely, they are most believers even when most of them are practicing the opposite on daily basis. You can help by adding the rest.