Nigeria

PCC exposes ‘extortion’ of Nigerians by NIS officials

The Public Complaints Commission (PCC) has revealed how Immigration officials have continued to extort and swindle unsuspecting Nigerians seeking new or renewal of their International Passport at various Passport offices across the country.

The Commissioner representing Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at PCC, Dalhatu Musa Ezekiel, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja while speaking to journalists on the activities of the commission and complaints received from Nigerians within the last two months.

He said Nigerians were still going through hell and harrowing experiences in the hands of passport officials who asked them to pay extra money off the record with the pretext of non-availability of booklets.

According to Dalhatu ” We have had so many complaints from Nigerians about Passport issues. You will pay for a passport either you want a new one or you want to renew one. 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 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 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.

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”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 a sudden you tell them that there is no booklet. It means Nigerians want to shortchanged Nigerians “

He added that some of their officials have carried out undercover investigations on some of the complaints and found that they were true.

The commissioner also lamented over the high rate of insecurity in the Federal Capital Territory and the country as a whole.

He said the commission has received over two thousand 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.

He there called for effective engagement and collaboration of stakeholders such as traditional rulers, hunters, volunteers, Area Council chairmen and the residents in the fight against criminality in the nation’s capital.

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”Kidnappers are having a field day, they kidnap people in their communities especially the indigenous people who are in these communities on daily basis and force them to pay the ransom.

“There should be local engagement. We have volunteers who are vigilantes under the watch and control of the traditional rulers and even the chairmen who are the grassroots should secure their places. There should be a concerted effort to secure the people.

”We have Nigerian Hunters Council and we have vigilante group who are doing a tremendous job,” Ezekiel added.

The commissioner also called for the regulation of dispatch riders in the territory adding that their activities have constituted a
nuisance and threat to the territory.

He said ” FCT Administration should come with measures to ensure that these dispatch riders are checked especially in the area of insecurity.

They should not be seen operating everywhere. We don’t even know what is the content of their luggage. Yes, the sticker may be food but what is the content and who is supposed to check them?

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