Aregbesola Tasks NIS Passport Officers On Satisfactory Service Delivery
The Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has charged Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS) Passport Officers to be up to their duties,as no one would be spared in the course of discharging their duties failed to deliver satisfactorily considering the responsibility and trust reposed in them.
This is just as he charge NIS providers of passport production Messrs Iris Smart Technology to ensure continuous supply and and unhindered service delivery to Nigerians home and abroad.
A statement signed by the the Service Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller of Immigration, Sunday James , said that Aregbesola said this in a speech titled, “A New Dawn in Passport Application Processing” at a meeting with Passport Control Officers on review of process,issuance and effective service delivery in passport .
The meeting was attended by Passport Officers from the 42 passport offices nationwide,52 missions abroad, where the Nigeria Immigration Service posted Immigration Attaches, who linked up online from the countries of assignment to discuss issues surrounding shortage,timely service delivery,bottlenecks ,touting,third party,and other vices militating against effective and efficient service delivery in passport centres.
The Minister observed with great concern the plight of Nigerians not getting the passport with ease and why the shortage must end, adding that with respect to the value of the passport as a security document,without which any Nigerian outside will suffer all manner of ill treatment and abuse in foreign countries.
The country, he said cannot afford to put Nigerians in the diaspora in dehumanizing conditions just because of passport re-issue,reiterating that the value addition in the newly introduced Nigerian Temporary Passport meant for the return of Nigerians back home, who might have lost their passport or not having a valid passport to return home with can now return with a Temporary Passport meant for one way to be retrieved by NIS officers on arrival at the airport in Nigeria.
The Minister maintained that citizens integrity is as important as the passport,hence Nigerians should respect the sanctity of the passport as a foremost national identity document without which the holder may not be respected wherever they are,the passport holder is treated in view of the integrity of the passport by other countries.
According to the Minister, We have several challenges in the past, it has become imperative to review our operations and rejig our system,in order to be able to offer excellent services to the public”
Aregbesola directed that all passport offices should have security officers embedded with body cameras to capture touts and every activities in the passport office during their operation to fight extortion,solicitations and any untoward act in the course of passport processing and acquisition.
At the end of the meeting the following resolutions were reached . They include:
* Clearing of all backlogs between today and end of May
* Delivery of all passport processed in Six weeks and that all passport applications,process and payment must be done online without human contact to attain zero corruption.
He urged passport officers to give maximum cooperation and contribute to national development through their services.
Also speaking , the Comptroller General of Immigration Muhammad Babandede in his address commended the Minister for his support and guidance and assured the him of effective and efficient service delivery at home and abroad,in view of the directive and tasking the officers to deliver or be posted out as the opportunity to meet with them was to give them fair hearing and give them the chance to change the narratives
Babandede emphasized on the need to create good will rather than extorting or allowing touts to keep denting the image of the service and making passport a difficult document to get.
He stressed that the Express Centre that was opened at Maitama would be replicated around the country to meet the urgent demand of those in need of urgent and express treatment at a cost,while other applicants go through due diligent process and time to get the passport
The CGI stated that with the Minister’s directive that urgent request must be treated only at designated Express Centres, any other Passport Office charging extra fee would not go unpunished.
According to him Nigerians deserves fair treatment and best services to justify what they paid for,but Nigerians must also submit right documents,follow due process,avoid touts to get the best from the service.
The Minister assured Nigerians that more Express Centres would be opened across the country ,apart from the cities,in schools,hospitals and local government areas to take care of urgent needs,while exceptional cases that has to do with health would be given priority.
The Passport Officers, who attended the meeting were given opportunity to speak and contribute to the decisions taken as the operators to ensure unhindered process and successful operation on return to their Commands.