ASSISTANT Comptroller General (ACG) Zone A of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Mrs. Doris Braimah has explained why the service is visibly peeved with officials of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) as she confirmed the underhand dealings by the officers at the Ikoyi Passport Office.
Braimah made this known while speaking with newsmen after she held the first quarterly meeting with nine (9) Comptrollers in Zone A stating that the service was getting embarrassed daily by reports of extortion of applicants by the NIMC officials which most often reflects on immigration because they house NIMC in their facilities.
Explaining the events of the past day she said,” I don’t know how the story came about, but I know for sure that on Monday I had a meeting at the Ikoyi Passport office with NIMC officials based on very indicting reports I received about them. That meeting was behind closed doors but I really don’t know how it got to the public. I highlighted to them what public opinion was as regards collection of monies from the public and we had a very good meeting and they promised they will retrace their steps and ensure that such things don’t happen again.
“What I need the public to understand is that there is a difference between the Nigerian Immigration Service and the Nigerian Identity Management Commission, NIMC is responsible for the issuance of NIN, national identity number while Nigeria Immigration service is responsible for the issuance of passports.
“They issue the NIN and NIN is a requirement by the service for the process to be complete for the issuance of passports to the prospective applicant so we need to work together and that report about the conduct of NIMC officials at the ikoyi passport office and some of my passport offices, that is why I had a meeting with them telling them that they are purely here to serve prospective applicants in the various passport offices. It is not meant for applicants that are not coming in for the passport office.
“What I told them is they can direct other applicants to their main offices outside passport office if they have no business with NIS and this is because we need to reduce the crowd in the passport office. The officials have taken what I told them and henceforth promised to direct their other applicants to offices that are not attached to immigration offices.
We cannot sit and fold our hands, Nigerians don’t really know who NIMC officers are but we have spoken to NIMC officials and they said they have taken
In another development, Comptroller Immigration, Lagos State Command, Aliu Ahmed Bauchi who spoke on border reopening said the Service is fully prepared to deal with inflow of people into the country as officers receiving them are protected and fully kitted against the dreaded coronavirus.
He said,” Opening of selected borders, here in Lagos we have only Seme border that has been fully opened and traffic is already going in and out. We are quite aware that for now we have put all the necessary to ensure that the public is safe and our officers are also safe, we have taken all equipment to serve that the people who receive and those who deliver are safe.
“We are also mindful, as we deal with people from other destinations, we may not know their status and we are aware that some of these infections are cross border and we are mindful so we are extra careful and cautious.