NIS Reels Out Gains Of Passport Operation Decentralisation, To Open Collection Centres

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Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Babandede


By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos


The decentralisation of the passport operations by the Muhammad Babandede led administration has led to the opening of more offices across the country, the Agency has said.
It has also brought issuance of the document closer to the people, thereby eliminating traveling of long distances by applicants.
Consequently, the Service is considering having front offices that will serve as application collection centre, sorting out, processing and Customer Care Centres for the passport requests, in line with International best practices.
This was disclosed in a release by the national public relations officer of NIS Sunday James, a Deputy Comptroller, made available to journalists on Saturday.
According to the statement, the Agency  will continue to open new frontiers in its operation and services to take care of its customers whose needs must be met as far as it is within prescribed and approved procedures for its operations.
” The Comptroller General Babandede’s administration is looking toward having front-offices  that will serve as application collection, sorting out, processing and Customer Care Centres for the passport requests in line with International best practices where Express Centres are opened to cater for those requiring express services due to exigencies and other day to day demand including unplanned medical and other urgent needs requiring express service”,  it stated.
It added that the Babandede led administration on assumption of office adopted a system of decentralisation of specific people oriented aspect of passport administration to be undertaken at the State Passport Offices to reduce the pressure of every passport case being referred to the Service headquarters and applicants traveling long diatanceo to secure certain category of services.
The Agency printed out that this also brought about  increase number of passport offices in states with large number of thronging applicants FCT has NIS Headquarters and Gwagwalada,  Lagos having Ikoyi, Alausa and Festac, Kano having Kano Main and Dawakin-Kudu, Ogun State Main Passport office Abeokuta and Sagamu, Delta State Asaba and Warri offices, Oyo State Ibadan and Oyo town as model projects to bring relieve and comfort to passport applicants.   

The statement reads, ”  Administration of Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service Muhammad Babandede MFR on assumption of office adopted a system of décentralisation of specific, people oriented aspect of passport administration to be undertaken at the State Passport offices to reduce the pressure of every passport case being referred to the Service Headquarters and applicants travelling long distances to secure certain categories of services, thereby empowering the passport offices to do those approved tasks.      This also brought about  increase number of passport offices in states with large number of thronging applicants FCT has NIS Headquarters and Gwagwalada,  Lagos having Ikoyi, Alausa and Festac, Kano having Kano Main and Dawakin-Kudu, Ogun State Main Passport office Abeokuta and Sagamu, Delta State Asaba and Warri offices, Oyo State Ibadan and Oyo town as model projects to bring relieve and comfort to passport applicants.   
The Comptroller General Babandede’s administration is looking toward having front-offices  that will serve as application collection, sorting out, processing and Customer Care Centres for the passport requests in line with International best practices where Express Centres are opened to cater for those requiring express services due to exigencies and other day to day demand including unplanned medical and other urgent needs requiring express service. 
The NIS will continue to open new frontiers in its operation and services to take care of its customers whose needs must be met as far as it is within prescribed and approved procedures for its operations.
The passport processing attracts large numbers of applicants converging at a centre closest to them, hence the need for more centres in mega cities and densely populated cities with the aim of decongesting the crowd and making life bearable for those seeking such service, saving time, reducing the tendency for touting and attempt to follow short cut by using any untoward means.
This lead to the administration developing functional, effective, quality services with increase centres, pressure will reduce on a single centre most visited.
Many applications are treated at the State passport offices and those requiring further approval sent to the Service Headquarters Abuja for clearance and approval conveyed for the passport offices to produce and issue after such approval is received, particularly sensitive cases like lost, stolen, change of data, first and subsequent issuance for those who acquired Nigerian Citizenship and are entitled to a Nigerian Passport as stipulated in the Constitution of the Fédération, Change of name and others are monitored closely to avoid identity theft, forgery and abuse in some cases.  
The feedback and tracking systems are other innovations put in place to ensure applicants are notified of the status of their passport application, keeping track of their request and getting feedback directly from the service and not a third party, thereby making the passport an institutional business not a business for touts who feasts on the public.
This has eliminated contacts with unauthorized persons handling the passport processing and cases of extra money charged by touts causing embarrassment to the service”. 

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