Immigration Service speaks on ‘shortage’ of passport booklets

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has denied allegation of shortage of passport booklets in the country.

Complaints by some Nigerians over their inability to get the passport booklets from the NIS had over the weekend emerged.

But, an investigation carried out by a NAN at the NIS headquarters in Abuja, revealed that applicants were seen waiting to collect their booklets.

Also, the NIS Public Relations Officer, Mr Sunday James, while denying the allegation on Tuesday, said that the large number of applicants at the headquarters was the reason why the process became cumbersome.

“The pressure at the headquarters is what people are amplifying and not that there is any reality.

“The pressure is so enormous. Everybody wants to come to his friend for passport and the Comptroller-General had insisted that there shouldn’t be friendship in this passport business.

“Some Nigerians want it immediately and so they seek the services of touts,” James said.

James told NAN that the passport was a document of the Federal Government which was to be issued to qualified Nigerians, and as such there was no reason why citizens should not get the booklet.

“If you know you are qualified why should you look for somebody.

“This is what is causing this problem and they end up entering into the wrong hands.

“We are discouraging this,” he said.

He disclosed that the Comptroller-General had directed that every passport office in the country should be supplied with adequate booklets.

“When we have people thronging to the headquarters even with the workforce, you are going to over stretch them talk-less of the transitional period where we are talking of migrating to the new passport,” he said.

The spokesman explained that a lot of machines were being installed with a lot of systems being put in place to ensure that migrating to the new passport was feasible and without stress.

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