In Kwara, 'Immigration Officers Only Issue Passports to Those Willing to Pay Bribes'
A civil servant based in Kwara has accused the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) office in Apata Yakuba, Ilorin, Kwara State, of being corrupt and deliberately creating hurdles for citizens looking to acquire their passports.
The civil servant, who asked not to be named, said the officials at the NIS office in Yakuba now openly operate like rogues and issue passports only to those who are willing to pay exorbitant but illegal fees.
“In the Apata Yakuba office, passports are sold to the highest bidder. If you go there to do it yourself, the officials will not attend to you, but rather stress you until you get tired and give them a contract to do it for you,” he told FIJ.
He said no one had told him positive things about the immigration office in Apata Yakuba, and that if one contracted passport acquisition to a worker at the centre, they would fail to deliver the passport at the appropriate time.
“They even charge as much as N46,000 for a 32-page booklet and N120,000 for a 64-page booklet with 10-year validity. Meanwhile, the price displayed on the website for a 64-page booklet is N70,000. But even after paying them for this, they will not deliver it on time,” he said.
He said he visited the NIS office in Apata Yakuba on December 29, 2021 for verification, but was told by an officer to return in seven days for capturing.
The seven-day timeline ended on Wednesday, but when he got to the office, an official told him to pay N6,000 for administrative charges before he would be captured. This prompted him to reach out to many influential personalities to inform them of the irregularities at the NIS office.
“I learned that for these guys, extortion is a trade. They don’t hide it anymore. Many times, when people go for their passports, they tell them they do not have papers,” he said.
When FIJ contacted the NIS, the call representative said people who are frustrated by corrupt officials should report them to the NIS with clear evidence.
“They can also send their complaints to email@example.com. But if anyone has issues like this, they should come with their evidence,” he said.
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