Acting immigration Boss discovers sharp practices during an impromptu visit to Lagos formations
… Gaps that must be addressed!
The acting Comptroller General of Immigration, (Ag. CGI) Isah Jere Idris has paid an unscheduled visit to the Alausa and Ikoyi Passport Offices in Lagos as part of sting operations to assess the quality of service delivery to the members of the public at the Centres.
He met with some touts within and around the premises who made entreaties to assist him to procure a Passport.
Both the touts and some of the Personnel who offered to assist him gave exorbitant fees, far beyond the official rates.
He played along with them, and indeed some affirmed their readiness to assist him buy the Passport within reasonable time provided he met their charges.
The report revealed that he determined to have a good understanding of the extent of touting in the area. The acting CGI opted to follow one of the touts to her Business Centre located not far away from the Office.
While there, the tout produced all manner of forms and requested the acting CGI to complete same so that the process could begin.
He completed some and was thereafter asked to transfer the sum for the charges given to him to an account number supplied by the tout if he could not make cash payment.
Satisfied with his findings at the Alausa Office, he proceeded to the Ikoyi Passport Centre.
The same experienced played out. He afterwards left the premises unnoticed and proceeded to the Office of the Lagos State Command Comptroller on Alagbon Close, Ikoyi.
While speaking, the acting CGI noted the visit was very insightful; “It has enabled me to assess the quality of service delivery at the Centres, especially against the backdrop of some public complaints about poor service delivery in some Passport Office locations.
“We shall use this experience to deepen our reforms urgently. I have seen some gaps that must be addressed. I think that the Passport appointment system we are about to introduce will take care of some gaps while a huge emphasis on consequence management shall be vigorously pursued” he noted.
He stressed that none of the Personnel found to have acted below expectation during the visit shall go unpunished, assuring that appropriate sanctions shall be applied.
A statement signed by the Immigration Service Public Relations Officer, ACI Amos Okpu indicated it would be recalled that upon assumption of Office as the acting Comptroller General, Isah Jere Idris has promised to deepen Passport reform efforts, improve Border Security efforts as well as emplace measures for enhanced staff welfare.