After Report, Lawmakers Begin Probe Passport Racketeering, Demand for Money by Officers

After Report, Lawmakers Begin Probe Passport Racketeering, Demand for Money by Officers

  • In what apparently seems as a reaction to, stories on Nigerians' challenges getting international passport lawmakers have promised to investigate
  • The lawmakers are apparently concerned that many Nigerians are paying more than the official price
  • Areas of focus for the investigation will include officers demanding money, shortages of booklets among others

In apparently a reaction to the comments that trailed the stories by on difficulties getting a Nigerian passport, the House of Representatives has promised to investigate and bring solutions.

During the plenary on Thursday, 21 July the House urged the NIS to halt their policy for biometrics capture.

The reps also urged heads of immigration services to immediately purchase more machines to aid the process, The Punch reports.

House of reps passport immigration
House of reps set up a committee to probe passport challenges after reports Credit: HOS
Source: Twitter

This decision is coming after had reported on steps Nigerians can take to get an international passport without bribing and the exclusive interview with Amos Okpu, the public relations officer confirming the steps.

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Okpu also went ahead to give explanations on what Nigerians can do and how to make complaints via phone numbers and email addresses.

Nigerians react

Many Nigerians in reaction to the two stories shared their experiences which include paying as much as N120,000.

Okpadien Idiami wrote:

"N26,000 hmmm, you getting the passport will take 2to3 years time"

Bukola Olaleye-Makinde also reacted

"I know someone that paid that 26k online but had to pay the remaining balance when he captured before it could be produced. Happened in Lagos."

Peter Ajomata also said:

"Paid over 100k since 6 months even I have captured till date they are telling me there is no booklet in Bayelsa office"

Afees Alabi

"Paid 30k for it and collected it after 4 months with another 20k to fastrack. Even 2k at the collection office"

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Reps move to stop the pains

Disturbed by some of the reactions above, lawmakers' ad hoc committee will investigate the reasons for the shortage of passport booklets and sharp practices.

The panel is to report back within two months for further legislative action.

Fred Agbedi who is driving the motion titled ‘Need to Find Lasting Solution to the Lingering Issue of Shortage of Passport Booklets Which is Causing a Lot of Pains to Our People.’ noted in recent times, the process of applying for Nigerian passports had become frustrating.

He added:

"The process is bedevilled with delays occasioned by the shortage of passport booklets. “This has brought about sharp practices as well as rip-off charges to the detriment of our people within and outside the country”
“The House is worried that there are persons who need their passports to travel out of the country for several reasons such as medical attention, businesses and education or be with family.”

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Nigerian passport jumps 3 places in global ranking

Meanwhile, the Nigerian passport has moved up three places in the global ranking to sit at 100th most powerful.

The change also brings the good news that holders of Nigerian passports can now travel to 46 countries visa-free.

There are also three other countries where Nigerians can travel and get visas on arrival.


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