New Passports To Be linked With Applicants BVN – Babandede
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Mr. Muhammad Babandede, has declared that the new 10-years international passport booklet was not for dubious people and crooks.
P.M.EXPRESS reports that he also said the booklet would have one identity and not multiple identities as the applicant’s national identity and BVN must be captured in the passport.
Babandede, who disclosed this during his visit to the Immigration passport office in Ikoyi Lagos, for the official commissioning of newly built facilities donated by five banks and other organizations, said hard times await those who are dubious; using multiple identities across the world.
“It is of great value because we did internal analysis and we still talked with other stakeholders, especially countries where we have no issuance offices. The good news is that the passport is linked with your national identity and BVN. It will be more tears to dubious people. It is very difficult to change your data once you obtained it. Be ready to maintain one identity. A lot of people go to Europe and America, declare different names to seek asylum. Some deliberately declare lost of passport for the reasons best known to them. Those people will go to jail. We have 70, 000 unclaimed passports as at today” he said.
He also charged officers to be good ambassadors but should not support any illicit act from either citizens or foreigners who abuse Nigerian passport or commit crime.
The CGI said that legal action will be taken against any Lebanese, Chinese or other nationalities that maltreat Nigerians in their companies because no law permits them to do so.
According to him, the Service will next week begin the registration of foreigners in Nigeria and with the exercise, anyone who stays beyond the stipulated time and he or she is discovered, necessary actions will be taken against such persons.
Speaking on the newly introduced International passport, Babandede noted that the development is one of the greatest achievements since independence.
“The new passport has a lot of value than the old one, it can last for the period of 10-years without peeling. The new passport will be linked with the National Identification Number (NIN), which is linked with the BVN” he said.
He however, hinted that the NIS will soon open a VIP section, which will take care of some important dignitaries in the country at the expense of their money.
“We are also working on opening passport offices in Manchester and other countries because of the London incident where a Nigerian went gaga destroying five vehicles.
The service is working effortlessly to improve our services to the public but Nigerians should also learn to do without violence” he said.
While noting that there are some bad eggs in the Service, he said: “We are working seriously on reducing and getting rid of the bad ones. Many of them have been dismissed over the years while some have been demoted for unruly behaviours. I always tell my officers that we must be transparent in what we do because anything aside that is corruption”.
He thanked the five banks and other organizations that donated different facilities to enhance the performance of the service.
“I want to specially appreciate our corporate friends who took interest in our service. It shows that the private sector and the government can work together with understanding.
We thank you all for the donations; it is a welcoming development” he said.
Earlier, the Deputy Comptroller of Ikoyi Passport Office, DCI Manir Yari, who expressed his appreciation to the banks and other stakeholders for the donations said that the commission needs the development.
“When I came to Ikoyi, I saw that there was need to partner with stakeholders to enhance development and today we are here to commission these projects.
” Today we now have National Identification Number (NIN) building in Ikoyi Passport office where people can get registered and Heritage Bank has also established a service window where you can make enquiries or complaints.
“We are also commissioning today, a whole floor where we now do change of name and lost cases donated by Zenith Bank. Access Bank also built the waiting room for the Commission.
“Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) also donated a conference centre named after CG Babandede while Fidelity Bank donated 18-seater bus for the Commission.
MTN also donated 5 security lines (Servicom), which help to relate better with Nigerians who want to get passports.
DC Yari however, noted the challenges facing the Commission. According to him, lack of space is a major challenge at the Ikoyi Passport office encounters.
“Most applicants are also impatient and they are always in a rush to get passports while managing large crowd is a challenge too.”
He however, welcome other private sector players and stakeholders to join the good work as partners in progress.
Present at the commissioning was a former retired Deputy Comptroller, HRH Bayo Akolade, the Olora of Ora, Kwara State. While the five banks as well as MTN and Steel Art Company were also represented at the commissioning.