- Charges applicants to embrace e-channels to combat touting at passport offices
Osisanya who spoke to the media on measures taken to bring sanity to the system also said the service would continue on the path to ensure that all applicant embrace technology as it is one way to avoid people taking advantage of prospective applicant by charging far more than normal for their service.
Already, few sources have confirmed that both the Passport Offices at Ikoyi and Festac have embraced the appointment system, where after submitting the application, a date is given to the applicant when he comes to capture and after that when he comes to collect the passport under the time frame of three (3) weeks for renewals and an average six (6)weeks for fresh applicants.
This new form of passport processing is set to dignify the process and decongest the passport offices which had in recent past become a beehive of activities with 90% of people there conducting their own businesses counter-productive of that of the service.
Osisanya who spoke on the e-channels first stressed,”We have rolled out measures over the years to prevent touting, and have followed them up, not just with our staff but with those people who may hang around passport offices, I assure you that it can be done (touting eliminated) and I tend to follow it up. The second aspect is to appeal to Nigerians, our services are online enabled.
“You can apply for for passport online, you can make your payment online and if only you can be patient you don’t really need the services of third parties so it is still an appeal. It’s been on for some years but we are plagued with attitude, some say it’s a system, it wouldn’t work, human contact is more important; but with the introduction of this appointment system that human factor will diminish, that is basically the reason for the appointment system.
“We call on Nigerians to use the electronic channels available to them, we have a website for applying for passports, for making payment; http://www.immigration.gov.ng whatever passport services you need, there are there. Again on that website, if you visit it, we have various categorization of passports, we have 32 pages five years; 64 pages 10 years, we have fees for minors, we have fees for retired citizens and for you to know just visit the website all the types are there. Nigerian should make use of these e-channels and help us frustrate touts by making their applications online and also making their payment online,” he said.
On the appointment system which has already taken off and has made some form of progress in Ikoyi and Festac passport offices, the ACG said once people go online to apply and pay it frustrates those who would want to take advantage of the system by exploiting human loopholes, stressing that the more people embrace this change the more difficult it is hoodwink them or for officers of the service to treat them shabbily.
He said,”The removal of the unnecessary human interface is kind of the reason for the appointment system, we intend to pursue it despite the complaints that will come, if we are sticking to this appointment system, it is to eliminate this kind of human interface, so when 90% of applicants or 100% of applicants apply online and come with online application, how do you now saw you want to be hostile with a few who come without it? You cannot frustrate all of them and the appointment system gives you your date, so all those kinds of people naturally become irrelevant but I promise we will still work on their attitude