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Comptroller General Nigeria Immigration Service( NIS) Muhammad Babandede flanked by his Assistant Comptroller Generals ( ACG) Zone 'A' Muhammed Alhaji Alfa Fde (L) and Zone 'H' Anyalechi M. O

New Passports: CG Babandede tells criminals to expect tougher security

  • Commissions eight projects at Ikoyi Passport office
NIGERIANS with duplicitous intentions will now find it extremely difficult to obtain the new 10 year validity passport with the over 21 security features installed within the new document, according to the Nigerian Immigration Service ( NIS).

This is just as the Service has said that for passports declared lost and the owner starts a new process for another or acquires another only to turn around and use the old passport, the owner is liable to get 10 years imprisonment if proven he has two passports.

Comptroller General of the Service, Muhammadu Babandede made this known today ahead of the roll out of the new Passport document at the Ikoyi, Passport Office attributed the stringent measures to people who have criminal intentions stating that with linkages to the National Identity Number ( NIN), the Bank Verification Number ( BVN) it would be far more stringent in collecting the new document.

According to the Comptroller General, reports are rife in the media about how hard it is to get the standard passport but countered that:

” There will be tears for people with criminal intention who want to access the passport. This new document will be linked with National Identity Number ( NIN), the Bank Verification Number ( BVN). Nigerians are meant to harmonize their identity and not travel out and start seeking change of name or identity for any frivolous reason that comes to mind.

” The new passport harmonize one identity for Nigerians and this will help our social development, economic development, it helps national security and above all, it will be difficult to change the data now. Nigerians should be advised, we can’t change their banks account details so they should be ready.

On the criminal tendency to acquiring two passports for simultaneous use, the NIS boss condemned the act but stated now that,” we have apprehended many of them even here in Lagos at the airport. They declare their passports missing and do a new one only to turn around and use the one they declare missing or lost.

” We apprehend them and they give all sorts of excuses, they do not know that once you declare it missing, we put the passport on alert and once it is used anywhere by anyone, that person is apprehended and must face the law.

“We will share a lot of data fraud with you , we have our lawyers here we are prosecuting. For example, this affects big business men who deliberately declare their passport lost and get another passport but now we have included the number of your previous passports so when you get your new passport, you will see your previous passport. Not only that, we declare that passport wanted, so f you come to the airport, we arrest you, it’s really big business for them in Lagos. We arrest them and tell them this passport you are traveling with, you declared it lost last year and now you want to use it.

The CG earlier inaugurated eight projects from NIS partners and stakeholders including a SERVICOM Centre assisted by Heritage Bank, an 18-seater bus for the Ikoyi Passport office donated by Fidelity Bank, a lookout building donated by the Nigeria Ports Authority ( NPA).

Others include a floor of their building located within the premises to handle Lost Care and Change of Name donated by Zenith Bank, a waiting lounge for applicants donated by Access Bank,the renovated enrollment room by Still Earth Capital as well as a Conference a Center donated by GTB.

Reacting to these projects Babandede said, ” This relationship symbolizes that the private sector and government can work together. We need to learn from the private sector in terms of maintenance, and they an learn from us. We are not in uniform to harass anyone we are here to protect and deliver a service.

Responding for the Representatives of Banks, Amaechi Okobi, Corporate Communication of Access Bank said the bank’s would continue to support lofty innovations and would be there when called on.

“We will continue to support Customer Service Responsibility (CSR) developments. We will not only rely on government and as private sector anytime you need us, you call on us, we asteroid here for you.”

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