The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday queried an officer of the Nigerian Immigration Service for ‘breach of due process’ at the Alausa passport office in Lagos.
Aregbesola, who visited the office unannounced, was said to have listened to complaints from applicants who were waiting for data capturing.
One of them was said to have complained about the cumbersome nature of the application process, adding that she was asked to start filling a manual form which had been filled online.
A statement by the Aregbesola’s Media Adviser, Sola Fasure, said the Minister 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.
He noted that the officer who allegedly sold the obnoxious form and made the request for manual filling was identified and subsequently queried.
The statement partly read,”I have said it for the umpteenth time that Nigerians must stop patronizing touts either in uniforms or in civilian clothing. The only way for you to apply for your passport is online.
“The attempt to get passports on-the-go and boycott the standardised collection timeline of three weeks for reissue and six weeks for fresh application after capturing, which is the main reason why many patronize touts, will only end in disappointment.
“Our appointment-based system for capturing applicants data and standardized passport collection procedure has made nonsense of promise by touts to deliver passports to applicants who patronize them. Patronising them will only end in disappointment,” .
He said the minister pleaded with Nigerians to totally avoid the urge to patronize touts, stating that if they cooperate with the government, the ongoing passport reforms will work and the system will be improved overall.