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Nigeria Immigration Service

21.01.2022 news At Abeokuta Immigration Office, ‘No One Gets a Passport Without Giving a Bribe’

Published 21st Jan, 2022

By Emmanuel Uti

A researcher resident in Ogun State has accused officers attached to the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) office at Oke Mosan in Abeokuta of ensnaring Nigerians who follow the due process of passport collection.

The researcher, who asked not to be named, told FIJ that officers at the passport office are corrupt and never willing to help Nigerians get their passports without receiving a bribe.

He said the officers now cash in on the desperation of Nigerians who need to either get or renew their passports by extorting vast sums of money from them.

READ ALSO: Lagos Immigration Officer ‘Assaults’ Lady Who Didn’t Wear a Bra (Video)

“Because there has been a backlog of applications and a shortage of passport booklets, they give passports to the highest bidder,” he told FIJ. “It is only when you come and you are desperate that they will give you. And when you get there, they will ask you, ‘Who is the officer helping you?’”

He explained that bribery is high at the office because the Passport Collection Officer (PCO) is retiring and is trying to rake in money for himself.

He said he knew the office was corrupt when he filled out his details on the NIS website but waited in vain for the office to call him to capture his biometrics.

READ ALSO: In Kwara, ‘Immigration Officers Only Issue Passports to Those Willing to Pay Bribes’

“I waited after I submitted my details online in July 2021, but they did not call me. So I went there myself. I asked them why they were not calling people, and they said they would not call people until they came themselves,” said the researcher.

He said in November, four months after filling out a form on the NIS website, he went for capturing, but was stunned at what he saw.

“When I got there, I realised that people walked in and came to capture the next day. Anyone who took the corrupt route would get their passports on time,” he said.

READ ALSO: Immigration Denies Officer Promotion 3 Times for Following Due Process in Passport Issuance

“An official at the office would give you a special account to pay into on getting to their office. That official would bring your file and follow it up. If any delay happened, you would be asked to identify the official helping you out.”

He also said the officials at the office in Oke Mosan could charge as high as N50,000 when people approached them for help.

FIJ contacted the NIS via a phone number displayed on their website, but the service was poor. A text message was sent to them, but at press time, they had not responded to it.

Published 21st Jan, 2022

By Emmanuel Uti

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