The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has reiterated its zero tolerance for the collection of illegal fees for the issuance of passports.
The Public Relations Officer, Comptroller of Immigration, Tony Akuneme said 80 officers are on trial for extortion and 8 others were dismissed in the last one year.
He said the sanction was part of Comptroller General Isah Jere’s three-point agenda: reform passport issuance, tightening border security and improving officers’ welfare.
The spokesperson noted that the CG’s efforts led to most applicants booking online for passports, unlike in the past.
“You don’t need anybody, whether immigration officers or agents which we usually call touts. They are still third parties,” he told NAN.
“We have continued to punish officers and men who try to assist people for a fee. You can assist genuinely but not extorting from them.
Akuneme lamented that “learned and civilised persons” usually rely on third parties to process their applications.
The PRO said such sometimes result in issues such as incorrect National Identification Number (NIN), among others.
The NIS advised applicants to fill out their forms personally, adding that there are officers designated to monitor corrupt personnel.
Akuneme advised complainants to “tell the world” when they are extorted, if the Immigration authority refused to take action.