The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has banned cash payments for passport processing as part of efforts to eliminate corruption at all passport offices nationwide.
NIS spokesperson, Sunday James, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
He said the Comptroller General of the NIS, Muhammad Babandede, had directed that henceforth all payments for passport processing must be done online and through designated banks.
He said the NIS boss had, in a circular, directed all passport control officers not to allow cash payments in any of the passport premises.
“All payments in respect to passport processing are to be done by applicants through banks to generate application ID and reference number on the NIS portal and not through an individual or touts,” Mr. James said.
This followed reports by PREMIUM TIMES exposing entrenched corruption at passport offices, where Immigration officials connive with touts to rip off applicants.
According to him, the NIS CG has also ordered an investigation into allegations of passport racketeering at some passport offices in Lagos with a view to sanitising the system.
Mr. James therefore urged passport applicants to ensure that all categories of Nigerian passports fees were done online.
“Passport applicants are therefore strongly advised to visit the NIS website www.immigration.gov.ng to confirm the approved fees for all categories of Nigerian Passports and age groups before making payments,” he added.
He said the management of all passport offices have been directed to paste all information required at the premises to guide applicants in line with the executive orders.
He urged Nigerians to direct any complaint or enquiries to 07080607900 and the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The spokesperson advised applicants against patronising touts or agents in order to ensure efficient service delivery.
The NIS boss had vowed to stamp out corruption in the operations of the NIS as part of efforts to reposition the Service and ensure efficient service delivery.