Saturday, May 21, 2022

Passport Applicants Patronise Touts To Get Faster Services – Aregbesola

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The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has inaugurated the enhanced e-passport production centre in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The minister urged Nigerians to stop patronising touts and switch to online application.

He assured stakeholders that new applicants would get their passports within six weeks while renewal would not exceed three weeks.

Aregbesola said the Federal Government had put measures in place to ensure that holders of Nigerian passports are Nigerians.

He said, “Part of the reforms is the migration of passport application and payments to digital platforms. But we regret to observe that applicants still patronise touts and unscrupulous officials in the hope to beat the system and get expedited services. When they were disappointed, they come to report to us.

“Of course, we have zero tolerance for corruption and subversion of due process. We therefore take seriously any such report and invoke the necessary disciplinary measures.

“But I will implore applicants to stop patronising touts and our officials directly. Follow the process we put in place. Apply for passports and pay online.

“The only engagement with our staff is the enrolment of your biometrics. Patronising touts and passport office officials doesn’t always end well, but rather serves to defeat our purpose of eliminating corruption and infusing integrity to the passport administration process.”

He added, “Our template stipulates maximum six weeks for obtaining new passports and maximum three weeks for renewal.

“We work within this schedule to enable us investigate any claims made by applicants and verify them, for the final document we issue them to have integrity.”

The acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Isah Jere, reiterated the call by the minister for citizens to stop patronising touts.

The state governor, Seyi Makinde, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Segun Ogunwuyi, lauded the efforts of the NIS, saying the state will continue to support the service in performing its statutory duty.

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