From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Following the high level of corruption associated with the issuance and renewal of passport in Nigeria, the Federal Government, yesterday, pledged to sanitise he process to eliminate corruption associated with it.
Speaking when a delegation of the executive members of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) visited him in his office, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, vowed that the Federal Government would bring sanity to the system with a view to eliminating corruption.
To this end, he explained, the government has opened an Immigration Service Portal for the issuance of passports. This, according to him, would eliminate a face-face contact.
The minister said that the process is not only seamless, but also geared towards enhancing transparency and eliminating corruption.
He warned members of the public to stop patronising touts or uniformed officers in processing their passports because their actions are illegal, unwarranted as they are only interested in making money out of the people.
Aregbesola used the occasion to announce that more data-capturing centres have been set up across the six geo-political zones of the country to ease the difficulties being faced during the processing of e-passport.
As part of concerted efforts of the Federal Government to secure the lives and property of Nigerians and ensure positive public perception of its activities, Aregbesola, expressed the readiness of his ministry to partner with relevant stakeholders, particularly the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in sensitising the public and channelling their energies towards national development
He hinted that specific areas of collaboration would include training of officers and men of the ministry and its agencies on effective communication, public relations and prompt reportage of the ministry ‘s activities to the general public to sustain its positive image.
The minister who assured Nigerians that every thing is being done to curtail insurgency and terrorism, urged the citizens to know that it was because the terrorists in the North East are seriously being dealt with and their perceived capacity being severely degraded that some of their escapees are running to other places. The minister assured that the Federal Government was bent on taking necessary steps to arrest the situation.
He, therefore appealed for the co-operation of Nigerians in reporting any information capable of jeopardising citizen’s wellbeing or breach of peace to the nearest security agencies around them including NSDC, FRSC, State Security Service and the Police among others. “Don’t keep any secret information about security to yourself. Report to the nearby security agencies,” he charged.