From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
Against the backdrop of public outcry about poor service delivery in some Passport Offices and the quest to deepen passport reforms, the acting Comptroller General of Immigration (Ag.CGI), Isah Jere Idris, has uncovered how touts and some Immigration personnel swindle unsuspecting Nigerians seeking to acquire international passports.
The discovery was made during a recent unscheduled visit to the Alausa and Ikoyi Passport Offices in Lagos, as part of sting operations to assess the quality of service delivery to the members of the public at the Centres.
The Assistant Comptroller of Immigration Service and Public Relations Officer, Amos Okpu, in a statement, said the acting Comp- troller General arrived at the Alausa Passport Office Ikeja, at about 1100 hours, and presented himself as a potential passport applicant.
Satisfied with his findings at the Alausa Office, he proceeded to the Ikoyi Passport Centre and the same experience played out. Afterwards, he left the premises unnoticed and proceeded to the Office of the Lagos State Command Comptroller on Alagbon Close, Ikoyi.
Speaking after the operation, the acting CGI noted that the visit was very insightful. He promised to use the experience to deepen reforms very urgently and said: “I have seen some gaps that must be quickly addressed. I think that the passport appointment system we are about to introduce will take care of some of the gaps, while a huge emphasis on consequence management shall be vigorously pursued.”