The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), on Monday, 28 August 2017, announced the ban of cash payment for processing of Nigerian passports in all passport offices across the country.
The ban is part of the efforts by NIS to eliminate perceived corruption associated with processing of Nigerian passports. This directive was made following an investigative report revealing that immigration officials engage ‘agents’ also known as touts to request for more than the prescribed passport fee from applicants. The ban would also reposition NIS to ensure efficient service delivery.
Consequently, the Comptroller General (CG) of NIS has directed that all payments for passports must be done online and through designated banks. Applicants are therefore advised to generate their application ID and reference number on NIS portal to process online payment. Cash payments to an individual or tout are now prohibited. Applicants are also urged to confirm the approved fees for the required category of passport from NIS website before making payment.
In line with the directive, the CG has mandated the management of all passport offices to make available relevant information regarding the process, to guide applicants accordingly. Also, the CG has ordered a probe into allegations of passport racketeering i.e. a systematic engagement in illegal activities for profit or gain. A dedicated email address and telephone contact has been made available to the public to receive complaints or inquiries.
We therefore advise all individuals to take note of this development.