NIS counts gains of decentralization of passport operations

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THE Administration of Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, on assumption of office adopted a system of decentralisation of specific, people oriented aspect of passport administration to be undertaken at the State Passport offices to reduce the pressure of every passport case being referred to the Service Headquarters and applicants travelling long distances to secure certain categories of services, thereby empowering the passport offices to do those approved tasks.

This has resulted in the increase in the number of passport offices in states with large number of applicants to the NIS Headquarters and Gwagwalada and to Lagos with offices in Ikoyi, Alausa and Festac and Kano with offices in Kano Main and Dawakin-Kudu. Others are Ogun State with main Passport office at Abeokuta and Sagamu, Delta State with offices in Asaba and Warri, while Oyo State has offices in Ibadan and Oyo town. This model projects have brought relieve and comfort to passport applicants.

The Babandede’s administration is looking toward to having front-offices that will serve as application collection, sorting out, processing and Customer Care Centres for the passport requests in line with International best practices where Express Centres are opened to cater for those requiring express services due to exigencies and other day to day demands, including unplanned medical and other urgent needs requiring express service.

The report by Sunday James, Public Relations Officer, NIS, said that the Service would continue to open new frontiers in its operation and services to take care of its customers whose needs must be met as far as it is within prescribed and approved procedures for its operations.

It added that passport processing attracts large numbers of applicants converging at a centre closest to them, hence the need for more centres in mega cities and densely populated cities with the aim of decongesting the crowd and making life bearable for those seeking such service, saving time, reducing the tendency for touting and attempt to follow short cut by using any untoward means.

According to the report, this will lead to the administration developing functional, effective, quality services with increase in the number of centres, thereby reducing pressure on a single centre.

It noted that many applications are treated at the State passport offices and those requiring further approval are sent to the Service Headquarters Abuja for clearance and approval conveyed for the passport offices to produce and issue after such approval is received, particularly on sensitive cases like lost, stolen, change of data, first and subsequent issuance for those who acquired Nigerian Citizenship and are entitled to a Nigerian Passport as stipulated in the Constitution of the Fédération, while change of name and others are monitored closely to avoid identity theft, forgery and abuse in some cases.

It disclosed that the feedback and tracking systems are other innovations put in place to ensure applicants are notified of the status of their passport application, keeping track of their request and getting feedback directly from the service and not a third party, thereby making the passport an institutional business not a business for touts.

The report noted the contributions of the Comptroller of Ogun State Command, Kunle Osisanya, who is an astute, ardent follower of the good principles and exemplary leadership of the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, will always do his best to bring the reform agenda to impact on the officers performance in the Command, having toured the formations under his command and meeting with traditional leaders and Community heads to emplace grassroots migrant monitoring and control in collaboration with the locals.

– July 04, 2020 @ 12:55 GMT

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