Aisha John, an Abuja resident, has narrated to FIJ how she paid N75,483 to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) for passport renewals for her husband and two sons but NIS never acknowledged the payment.
She said on August 16, 2022, she made several attempts to pay for the renewal on the NIS website but failed every time.
She then checked if the NIS was on the Remita payment platform. When she saw that it was, she sent money to her husband (whom she asked FIJ not to name due to his civil service commitments) to pay. He did, but when her family members attempted to complete the application process on the NIS website two days later, they were informed they had not paid for the service.
John said her husband was debited N25,161 for each of the passport renewals, but despite Remita telling her the transaction was successful, NIS keeps telling her the payment never got to them. She had to pay again on August 18.
Speaking with FIJ, she said, “In August, I tried to renew passports for my family members. We filled in our information online, but when we tried to pay via the immigration payment platform, it failed multiple times.
“Instead of risking the situation where we might be debited and not have the payment reflect, we decided to see if immigration was on Remita platform, and payed via it.
“Immigration passport payment was listed on Remita, so we generated payment numbers. I transferred the money to my husband, who then paid via his GT Bank account and got some codes on completion.”
She said they attempted to continue the process on August 18 but when they tried filling their details on the NIS portal, they saw that the payment had not reflected.
“On August 18, we tried to continue the process we had started on the 16th but saw that it was reflecting that we had not paid,” John told FIJ. “I immediately called the immigration customer service, and they told me they didn’t use Remita.
“I asked why their organisation was listed on Remita, but they did not respond. They only said that if I wanted to continue, I should make another payment on their own platform.”
John said she made another payment that day but sent a mail to the NIS to document her experience. Her husband also wrote to GT Bank to reverse the transaction. GT Bank replied in late November, saying the transaction was successful.
The payment she made on the NIS payment platform, according to John, only reflected on September 7, 2022.
When John wrote to Remita, the platform said, “The specified transactions have been successfully processed on the platform to the Nigeria Immigration Service.” It also said only the NIS could authorise a reversal.
When FIJ called the NIS on Wedneday, Umar Mohammed, one of its agents, said the platform does not conduct business via the Remita platform. He said the money paid never got to the NIS and they could not authorise a reversal.
FIJ sent a mail to Remita, but as of press time, the platform had not responded.
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