Legislators probe alleged passports racketeering at Immigration

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to passports racketeering being purportedly perpetrated by the Service officers, the Nigerian House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Interior to investigate the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

The move followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Chinedu Ogah, a House member, on the need to investigate the suspected extortion, passport racketeering and corrupt practices by officials of the NIS.

The House of Representatives also expressed worries that if the practice is not checked, it might undermine national security and expose Nigeria to international ridicule, as foreigners may take advantage of it to acquire Nigerian passports.

The Lower Chamber of the National Assembly (NASS) also directed the relevant agencies of government to ensure that all payments to the Nigeria Immigration Service are done through the appropriate Treasury Single Account (TSA) channel.

Anyone violating the terms of the policy is made to face the full wrath of the law, the House mandated.

Hon. Ogah, leading debate on the motion, stated that the NIS is the agency responsible for the production and issuance of the Nigerian international passport.

He further stated that the current price for the new standard passport with 32 pages is N25, 000 whereas the 64-booklet passport costs N35, 000 and both have a five-year validity period.

He, however, expressed concern that there have been several reports of alleged extortion of Nigerians seeking to acquire the international passports by personnel of the some Nigeria Immigration Service.

According to him, unsuspecting members of the public are made to pay as high as N50, 000 to immigration officers with a promise to fast-track the processing of their international passports.

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