The Public Complaints Commission (PCC) has narrated how Nigerian Immigration Service officials are fond of extorting money from Nigerians seeking new and renewal of International Passport at various Passport offices across the country.
The Commissioner representing Federal Capital Territory, Dalhatu Musa Ezekiel, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja while speaking to journalists on the complaints they received from Nigerians within the last two months.
He added that Nigerians went through hell in the hands of Passport officials who asked them to pay extra amounts of money “off the record” with the pretext of non-availability of booklets.
Dalhatu said, “We have had so many complaints from Nigerians about Passport issues. You will pay for passport; either you want new one or you want to renew. You will follow through all the processes and at that point you need no more stress to get your Passport.
“As at the time you are done with procedures and you just need to get the Passport, the passport officer will tell you that there is no booklet. Some people have to pay extra money off the record to get their passport booklets.
“I think this should be discontinued immediately. The Comptroller General of Immigration may not be in the know because he is not there to be issuing passports. But let the Comptroller General ensure that there is a monitoring unit that would monitor what is happening at the Passport offices.
“Let people get their passports as at when due because after all they have paid for this service.
How do you allow people to pay and finish all the procedures and all of the sudden you tell them that there is no booklet? It means Nigerians want to shortchange Nigerians.”
He added that some of the PCC officials had carried out undercover investigations on some of the complaints and found that they were true.
The commissioner also lamented the high rate of insecurity in the Federal Capital Territory and the country as a whole.
He said the commission received over 2,000 complaints from Nigerians over the deplorable security situation in the nation’s capital and its environs targeting the indigenous people.
Ezekiel berated the Federal Capital Territory Administration for not being proactive in tackling the menace of kidnappers and armed bandits in the territory and therefore subjecting residents to untold hardship.