- Nigerian passport has been described as a major tool of extortion
- According to BudgIT, corruption in Nigeria's immigration offices is one of the reasons why Nigerian passport is ranked as low as 42nd in Africa
- Nigerians have been urged to report cases of extortion and bad service delivery to SERVICOM
Nigerian public officials are alleged to be involved in series of fraudulent activities in the country's immigration offices.
According to BudgIT, a social advocacy organisation, one major tool of extortion is the Nigerian passport. Specifically, it alleged that Nigerian public officials received N400 billion bribe between 2015 and 2016 alone.
The organisation also noted that the inherent corruption in the issuance of passports in Nigeria is one of the reasons why Nigerian passport is ranked as low as 42nd in 54 countries in Africa.
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Going further, BudgiT argued that bribery thrives in the immigration offices as a result of the rowdy nature of the offices. It added that as a result of this, NIS officers utilise the situation to rip off desperate (and non-desperate) applicants.
"By perpetuating an industry of 'black market passport,' @nigimmigration officers are not only ripping off Nigerians. They are also the reason behind the loss of confidence in public institutions and a failing country. It’s time we changed!" BudgiT wrote.
However, the organisation released two steps in which fraud can be stopped.
1. Report cases of extortion and bad service delivery to SERVICOM [@ServicomOffice].
2. Don’t encourage corruption by paying the unofficial price or lobbying.
Recall that Legit.ng had reported that Mohammed Babandede, the comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service, had said that the issuance of Nigerian Passport with 10 years validity will commence in December 2018.
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The immigration boss explained that the new passport would have features that could stand the test of time, adding that it would run concurrently with the old ones.
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