An officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has been caught extorting passport applicants at the Alausa Passport Office, Lagos State on Wednesday.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who paid a surprise visit to the passport office, caught the officer (name not given) in the act.
Media adviser to the minister, Sola Fasure disclosed this in a statement.
Whilst listening to feedback from passport applicants who were waiting for their data capturing, an applicant complained about the application process, which in his opinion was cumbersome.
“After I completed my application and chose today for my data capturing appointment, I printed every necessary document.
“However, on my arrival here, I was asked to start filling a manual form again, which I had filled online and printed already,” the applicant complained.
Aregbesola thereafter asked the Passport Control Officer at the station, Mrs B. L. Bukar, to explain the breach of due process, noting that such a request was strange.
The statement said the officer who allegedly sold the form and made the request for the manual filling was identified and subsequently queried.
The minister told the officers on duty that they were servants of the people and this must be reflected in their attitude at work and the way they relate with passport applicants.
He warned them to avoid creating false gridlock that frustrates and exasperates the people.
Aregbesola advised Nigerians to follow due process in their passport application and shun patronizing touts who will end up disrupting the standardized procedure.