The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday dismissed reports of shortage of booklets as a challenge against adequate and timely issuance of the Nigerian Passport, saying Lagos and Port Harcourt offices of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, alone had combined stock of 40,000 booklets.
Aregbesola, who was in Rivers State for roll out of the Enhanced Electronic Passport and Commissioning of the Passport Production Centre in Port Harcourt, vowed to bring the weight of the law on racketeers, within and outside the NIS creating difficulties for applicants.
The minister said: “Our biggest Challenge in passport administration is not in ideas or innovation or processing but in humans. We have introduced far reaching reforms which some unscrupulous elements continue to frustrate and subvert with corrupt acts. These unscrupulous entities are within and outside the Service.
“The menace of touting, inflation of price, delay in processing application and withholding of passports are some of the challenges. We appeal to Nigerians to help eliminate these malpractices