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Interior Minister To Sanitize Passport, Visa Issuance Processes

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has pledged his total committment towards sanitising the specialised services being rendered by professional service providers; aimed at improving processing of visas, passports, marriages and citizenship applications in the country.

Speaking over the weekend at a Quarterly Review Meeting with some consultant- Special Service Providers engaged at the National Headquarters of Nigeria Immigration, Abuja, Aregbesola frowned at what he described as “unacceptable passport procedure racketeering” being perpetrated with connivance of unscrupulous officials.

The Minister read the riot act to those who indulge in this embarrassing act, warning them to desist or be prepared to face dire consequences, as he also urged service providers to strictly adhere to agreements governing the Public Private Partnership (PPP) act with the ministry.

In his opening remark, the Honourable Minister reiterated the importance of performance review, adding that the quarterly review meetings have helped in addressing challenges experienced by service providers as well as serving as platform to identify problems that often contribute to inefficient service delivery.

He identified human factor as being responsible for artificial scarcity of passport booklets in passport offices and challenged the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to beam it’s search light on erring officers bent om exploiting passport and visa applications processing to feather their nest.

The Minister used the occasion to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for giving approval for the implementation of standard security features on Nigerian passport thus making Nigeria one of the top five nations in the world with such passport quality, which is an upgrade on the initial e-passports.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, in his welcome address, explained that previous Quarterly Meetings have yielded expected results through improvement on array of services being provided by the service providers.

He urged service providers to use the opportunity of Quarterly Review Meetings to further open up on new solutions to impediments militating against effective service in their area of engagement.

Belgore commended the Hon. Minister for the initiative that provided the platform for robust engagement with the engaged service providers.

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