July 21, 2022

Reps probe shortage of passport, alleged sharp practices by immigration officers



By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja

The House of Representatives, Thursday resolved to set up an adhoc committee to investigate the circumstances that led to rh the shortage of the passport booklets.

Also to be investigated were alleged sharp practices by personnel of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).

The House also directed the Service to stop the policy for biometrics capture and immediately purchase more machines to aid the process.

The decision of the House followed the consideration of a motion of urgent public importance moved at the plenary by Hon. Fred Agbedi.

Agbedi in his motion said the “House is aware that in recent times the process of applying for Nigerian passport has become so frustrating as the process is bedeviled with delays occasioned by the shortage of passport booklets.

“These have brought about sharp practices as well as rip off charges, to the detriment of the people within and outside the country.

“The duties of Nigerian Immigration Service include the control of persons entering or leaving the country. The issuance of travel documents including Nigerian passports and the issuance of resident permits to foreigners in Nigeria and border surveillance. The Nigerian immigration service was quoted to have commenced the production of 30,000 e-passport with the aim of being an end to the issues of delays.

“Despite these modalities, the issues of shortage of passport booklets is still lingering. Consequently intending travelers wait for several months and sometimes a year after capturing for their passport before its issued to them. Worried that there are persons who need their passport to travel out of the country for several reasons such as medical attention, businesses, education or be with family.”

Adopting the motion, the House gave the Committee 2 months within which to carryout the investigation and report back for further legislative action.

In a related development, the House also called for the Intervention of the federal government on the communal clashes between Lyangit and Kumbwanv communities of Langtang north local government area of Plateau state.

Coming on the heels of the motion moved by Hon. Beni Lar at the plenary, the House also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide the people with relief materials to cushion the effects of the crises.

It mandated its relevant Committees to liaise with the relevant government agencies to intervene between the warring communities to restore lasting peace.

Similarly, the House also  adopted a motion moved by Hon. Michah Yohanna Jiba which urged the Federal Capital Territory Administration to immediately construct pedestrian Bridges across the Mabushi/Ministry of works and Housing Junction highway Abuja to avoid more accidents in the Area.