The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Ikoyi, Lagos has announced that it has extended its working days to include Saturdays and Sundays to meet the demands of its applicants.
The Passport Control Officer (PCO) and Deputy Controller of Immigration (DCI), Ibrahim Liman, disclosed the new development in an interview held on Sunday in Lagos.
He added that at least 15,000 passports have been issued to qualified applicants since he assumed office in June 2021.
Liman revealed this while reacting to a series of complaints regarding passport racketeering and cases of uncleared backlogs of passports among others.
He said the offenders would be identified and punished appropriately.
According to him, the office has added Saturdays and Sundays to its working days in order to meet the demands of thousands of applicants.
The PCO urged Nigerians to see beyond the fact that the passport is just a document for travelling, saying it should be seen as a security document that would help them in various ways.
He stressed that his office was fully committed to efficient service delivery and it would not relent in justifying its operational mandate.
The official also warned those who carry out passport racketeering to stop or face the consequences.
He emphasised that his department had been working tirelessly to meet the demands of applicants and adhering to due process required in obtaining it.
Liman explained that some issues might affect the timely release of some international passports to prospective applicants.
He said this would be due to the need for discreet investigation to be conducted by the department on such applicants to determine their elligibility.
The DCI, however, stressed that Immigration Service would not hesitate to sanction anyone guilty of defrauding or shortchanging any applicant, engaging either in sharp practices, or any illicit acts capable of ruining the reputation of the department.
He said the NIS would continue to remain one of the best passport issuers in the world.
”The service has recently introduced additional sophiscticated measures toward checking attitudes inimical to the conduct of its official duties, especially, issues to do with corruption” he added.
He appealed to applicants to always endeavour to visit the NIS Servicom department in all passport offices to make enquiries.
“NIS has reiterated that all qualified prospective seekers of the travel document should apply online,” he added.
He complained that some applicants were impatient and were always in a hurry to push their ways to get the document in few hours and eventually mess things up.
“Can this be done in advanced countries?
“I specially appeal to prospective applicants to visit immigration.gov.ng, which serves as the service website to apply and make payments for their passports,” he added.