Many people have tagged the inability of Nigeria Immigration Service to produce international passports for intending travelers who have applied at the different designated offices as the height of disservice to Nigerians.
Putting this gross inefficiency aside for a minute, BlackBox Nigeria has further gathered why personels of the organisation are being hindered from providing the needed passports.
According to a top officer at the agency, the non-avaibility of paper to print is the major reason why there are delays in the production of international passport across the country.
The NIS staff who prefares to remain anonymous reliably disclosed this to BlackBox Nigeria in a chat.
“We have to ration the production process, the truth is, there is no paper to print,“ the immigration officer told BlackBox Nigeria exclusively via phone.
Applicants from different parts of the country have given account of how their request for international passport have not met the required attention by the appointed agency. While many have linked this deficiency to the bad leadership in the immigration service, some have also linked it to corruption which have eaten deep in the system.
Only last week, an applicant, who prefers anonymity revealed to BlackBox Nigeria how he experienced smooth response from the Immigration Service. He said the simple magic was additional charges, which was triple the stipulated amount meant for applying for the passport. He said he was surprised that his passport was ready same day.
His account is however totally different from several others who are not as buoyant as he is or not ready to part away with more than the official ammount. He said if one really want to maintain the status quo as directed by the Federal Ministry of Interior, one will wait for months before getting the same passport he got within 24 hours.
However, Precious (surname withheld) who came to renew her stolen passport yesterday said she paid N60, 000 to get an express process but the passport will still not be ready till next week Tuesday.
This further confirms our source position that there is limited number of paper the Immigration can make use of. A situation that might have arised due to regulated forex to import papers.
Another source from immigration said like other bodies, it is having issues of foreign exchange which is currently biting hard on all sectors. Though NIS did not inform applicants that it is having issues with the forex, unfolding realities make one believe so.
In a related development, some aggrieved applicants are calling for the change in the leadership of the Immigration Service due to what they call inefficiency in the system. An applicant who disclosed to BBN said he has paid the stipulated application fee for issuance of new passport but the Ikoyi office of the agency are demanding for extra charges before the application will be processed. He said several mails sent to the body is falling on deaf ears as no specific reason has been given, all the agency keep saying is approach the officials in Ikoyi office, which simply means paying extra.
In May this year, the Minister of Interior, Maj-General Abdulrahman Danbazzau (Rtd) announced that no applicants should pay above fixed rates as shown on the institution’s website. But till date, the opposite is the case, as all applicants have been made to pay absolutely above the required fees.
Another applicant revealed to BBN that he applied for the international passport at the Festac office of the agency on the 26th of June, 2016 but was told yesterday that there was no paper for the production of the passport after paying N26, 000, hence it was not ready for collection.