Passport backlog, racketeering: UN Envoy Coomassie commends Immigration boss for tackling menace

The United Nation Special Envoy on Good Governance and Diplomacy, Amb Hussaini Haruna Coomassie, has Commended the Acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Isah Jere Idris for tackling decades of passport racketeering and backlog in less than 4 month of his appointment as the acting Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service.

Isa Jere Idris recently broke the cartel of passport racketeering in the Service Headquarters, Lagos, Kano and other black spots where business of passport had being a way of life for many Nigerians in connivance with officers and men of the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS).

Commenting on the development in a statement made available to Blueprint, the UN special envoy said; “The positive developement in the service was a major achievement the immediate past leadership under Mohammed Babandede and many others had overlooked that became worsened before the assumption of duty of the new helmsman.

“Before his assumption of duty, it had attained a worrisome situations desiring government attention and action as assessing passport at the immigration had become an issue of ‘Man know Man’, a situation that was not normal.

“Getting a passport that was at the peck and call of applicants, became a nightmare as for weeks and months, applicants kept vigil at the immigration offices with officers and men cashing in on the sad development.

“Ordinarily, Nigerians were made to believe that the only lucrative postings in the service of Nigerian Immigration Service NIS is either at the passport offices, borders, and airports, therefore creating alot of pressures, lobbying and internal wranglings between officers and men of the service.

“These skirmishes were not meant to assist applicants into easily assessing passport to their various destinations, but an opportunity to shortchange and extort applicants, with the impression of either getting it quickly processed and issued, or as the case may be.”

Dr. Coomassie who described CG Jere as silence achiever urged him to beam his searchlight on staff welfare package and other areas affecting the well-being of personnel.

Though Amb. Coomassie frowned at the controversial border commands which rendered some states like katsina, Sokoto others with limited or zero industries useless, thereby creating unnecessary tensions between the state and border Comptrollers, he further advised the Ag CG Jere to set up a committee to critically look into the reasons behind creation of the controversial Border Commands and reverse it to its original status to avoid operational hitches.

Amb Hussaini Coomassie who doubles as Continental DG, Advocacy for Good Governance Network Global applauded the Immigration high command for the introduction of new passport processing policy, which gives automatic appointment date for capturing of new and re-issue of passports as a welcome development, but faulted the lack of room to accommodate special emergency cases, such as Medicals & official assignments overseas, there should be an avenue for such emergencies.