FG deploys undercover brokers to test touting, extortion, others by passport officers

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The Federal Government, on Thursday, introduced plans to deploy undercover safety operatives in a bid to test touting, extortion and different sharp practices by passport officers throughout the nation and at Nigerian missions overseas. This is a part of measures to make the passport utility course of simpler, seamless and clear.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, in Abuja on Thursday, April 22, 2021.

The Minister stated that the nation had prior to now witnessed a number of challenges, which included scarcity of booklets, touting, racketeering, inflating the price of passports being issued to ineligible individuals, and so forth.

What the Minister of Interior is saying

Aregbesola, in his assertion, stated, “We are turning round the entire passport application process in a way that is going to be easy, seamless and transparent. We will also 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 illegitimate fees. We are going to embed security operatives, seen and unseen, in all our passport offices. They will wear body cameras.

They will also detect and report any form of solicitations, inflation, improper communications, extortion, diversion, hoarding and other corrupt practices. Applicants will have no basis for further communication 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. Those caught will be dealt with according to the law.”

The Minister stated that an ombudsman would even be created for members of the general public to obtain complaints and experiences on officers making an attempt to deviate from prescribed tips and subvert the method.

He defined that 2 particular centres for expedited companies had been created, including that the particular centres would run on a public-private partnership foundation.

He stated, “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.”

In case you missed it

  • It may be recalled that in March 2021, the Federal Government in partnership with the non-public sector, launched the Nigeria Immigration Service Passport Express Centre.
  • This is to allow the federal government supply passport companies to Nigerians and make passports obtainable inside a most interval of 72 hours after a profitable utility.

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