Extortion: FG Set to Make Wearing of Cameras Mandatory for Immigration Officers


Rauf Aregbesola, Interior Minister


The Federal Government has said it would soon make it compulsory for immigration officers to wear cameras on their body as part of moves to curb widesprad complaints of sharp practices among the officers on their jobs.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola stated this on Thursday at a meeting with Passport Control Officers and Attachès in Missions held at the headquarters of the Service in Abuja.

Aregbesola stated that his ministry is waging war on all forms of touting, adding that nobody will pay any illegitimate fees again at all the Passport offices in the country because the officers will be made to wear body cameras.

He said , “Therefore, I am declaring a zero-tolerance stance to all forms of touting. No applicant will be made to pay any illegitimate fees. We are going to embed security operatives – seen and unseen – in all our passport offices.

‘’They will wear body cameras that will detect and report any form of solicitations, inflation, improper communications, extortion, diversion, hoarding and other corrupt practices. Those caught will be dealt with according to the law.

He said Nigeria’s passport administration has had several challenges such as shortage of booklets, touting, racketeering, inflating cost as well as passports being issued to ineligible persons and so on.

Aregbesola explained that government will continue to explore the possibilities of doing things electronically and by post but pointed out that person-to-person necessities like data capture are beyond government control.
According to him, without doubt, these challenges have put the ministry and Nigeria Immigration Service under the spotlight.

“It has become imperative therefore to review our operations and rejig our system, in order to be able to offer excellent services to our clients. No system is permanent, only the objectives are. We need to review a system from time to time . This understanding is very important to all system operators so we don’t develop a fixed system rigidity’’.
“We are turning round the entire passport application process in a way that is easy, seamless, transparent and will accord human dignity to applicants and fulfil citizenship integrity.

He said an ombudsman will also be created for members of the public to receive complaints and reports on officers trying to deviate from prescribed guidelines and subversion of the process, adding that special centres will also be created for expedited services.

The Minister stated that  the special centres will run on public-private partnership basis, revealing that it has already taken off in Abuja , with 10 more to be be opened in the coming weeks out of the others being proposed for the country.