Be on high alert for miscreants bent on testing FG’s will, Interior Minister tells Immigration, Prison, NSCDC officers

4 weeks ago 31

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has tasked officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) to be on high alert for miscreants who want to test the will of the President Muhammadu Buhari led government.

This is as he instructed all the officers to prevent any form of breach of security on any of the nation’s institutions, installations, facilities.

Aregbesola said the charge became expedient especially during the yuletide season but added that the officers are expected to extend their alertness beyond the yuletide period till March next year.

The Minister made this call at the Rollout of Enhanced Electronic Passport and Inauguration of the Ibadan Production Centre at the NIS headquarters, Ibadan, on Monday.

Aregbesola said: “We are in the yuletide period and I charge you all to be on high alert for miscreants who want to test the will of the federal republic of Nigeria under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We have given instructions to your Comptroller Generals who will communicate what you must do, especially at this period, and this period means from now till March next year. Please take that instruction very seriously.

“There must not be any breach of security in any of our institutions, organisations and installations.
By this, I am referring to Nigeria Immigration Service, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigeria Correctional Service.”

Speaking further, Aregbesola said the enhanced e-Passport possessed Polycarbonate Data Page and other security, technical features aimed at curbing forgery.

He explained that the e-passport was evolved using the latest technology in passport making in the world and is the most secure identity document ever produced.

Especially, Aregbesola advised citizens to avoid patronizing touts and unscrupulous officials when applying for their passport, adding that the new system limits human interaction.

Aregbesola said, “Part of the reforms is the migration of passport applications and payments to digital platforms. But we

regret to observe that applicants still patronise touts and unscrupulous officials in the hope to beat the system and get expedited services.

“When they were disappointed, they come to report to us. Of course, we have zero tolerance for corruption and subversion of due process. We, therefore, take seriously any such report and invoke the necessary disciplinary measures.

“But I will implore applicants to stop patronising touts and our officials directly. Follow the process we put in place. Apply for passports and pay online. The only engagement with our staff is the enrolment of your biometrics.

“Patronising touts and passport office officials doesn’t always end well, but rather serves to defeat our purpose of eliminating corruption and infusing integrity to the passport administration process.”

Speaking on the new application process, the minister noted that a new timeline has been set for fresh passport application and reissue.

“Our template stipulates maximum of six weeks for obtaining new passports and maximum of three weeks for renewal. We work within this schedule to enable us to investigate any claims made by applicants and verify them, for the final document we issue them to have integrity.

“If there are challenges, wait, eventually you will get your passport before your due date of travel if you apply early enough. You will still have long enough time to apply for visa and other travel documents.

“Nowhere in the world is passport administration done on a wait-and-get basis except in extreme emergencies. The only wait-and-get passport is passport photograph.

“The Enhanced e-Passport is a great improvement on the Biometric Passport technology which Nigeria adopted in 2007 as a deliberate step towards curbing forgery, impersonation and other forms of travel document fraud associated with the old Machine-Readable Passport regime.

“It is the latest technology in passport making anywhere in the world and only few countries have it. It is the most secure identity document ever produced. We are proud to make it available to Nigerians,” Aregbesola said.

Speaking during the event, the Acting Comptroller General of the NIS, Isah Jere, reiterated the call by the minister for citizens to stop patronising touts.

“As you have heard from the Minister, we expect that the only time citizens will have contact with our officers is during the biometric capturing. You are to apply and pay only.

“Soon, we are launching an appointment management system and a tracking system for you to know anywhere you are in the world, the process of your passport application,” Jere said.

Also speaking, Governor Seyi Makinde, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Segun Ogunwuyi lauded the efforts of the NIS, assuring that the state will continue to support the service in performing its statutory duty.

Also at the event were the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; the Olubadan of Ibadan represented by Chief Sarafadeen Alli; Onirun of Oke-Irun, Oba Isaac Adetoyi; service chiefs of various paramilitary services amongst others.

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