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Aregbesola queries immigration officer over passport issues

Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday, queried the Passport Control Officer of the Alausa Passport Office of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, in Lagos, Mrs. B. L. Bukar, for breaching due process in the issuance of passports to Nigerians.

Aregbesola consequently advised Nigerians to follow due process in their passport application and shun patronising touts, who will end up disrupting the standardised procedure.

The minister said: “I have said it for the umpteenth time that Nigerians must stop patronising touts either in uniforms or in civilian clothings. The only way for you to apply for your passport is online.

“The attempt to get passports on-the-go and boycott the standardised collection timeline of three weeks for reissue and six weeks for fresh application, after capturing, which is the main reason why many patronise touts, will only end up in disappointment.

“Our appointment-based system for capturing applicants’ data and standardised passport collection procedure has made nonsense of promise by touts to deliver passports to applicants, who patronise them. Patronising them will only end in disappointment.”

Whilst listening to feedback from applicants, who were waiting for their data capturing, an applicant complained about the application process which, in his opinion, is cumbersome.

However, the minister asked the Passport Control Officer at the station to explain the breach of due process, noting that such request was strange.

The officer, who allegedly sold the obnoxious form and made the request for manual filling, was identified and subsequently queried.

Aregbesola told the officers on duty that they are servants of the people and this must be reflected in their attitude at work and the way they relate with passport applicants. As such, they should avoid creating false gridlock that frustrates and exasperates the people.

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