By Bukar Bolori
Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, (NIS), Muhammed Babandede said no more cash should be brought to passport offices across the country.
He said that cash payment has been stopped at passport offices in order to check against corruption in the passport issuance system in the country.
Babandede, made the revelation yesterday in Abuja during the commissioning of a live public chatroom and the resuscitation of the SERVICOM, (Service Compact With Nigerians) call centre that was gutted by fire in January, yesterday in Abuja.
The CG noted that cash dealings in the passports process has been a major driver of corruption among undisciplined personnel, stressing that to check against this the agency brought in a number of innovations including e-business whereby the entire passports process is done online including payment for services rendered.
He said: “Today, any customer can make payment for any of our services with his or her phone because we have simplify the process therefore, don’t come to our passports offices with cash, this will reduce corruption.
“Now, we have more efficient communication and chat line that encourages Nigerians to reach us directly with any of their complaints and enquiries and we will respond immediately, it is real time.
“We have improved our payment processes and eliminated too much fillings of forms and have also fashioned an appointment system whereby customers don’t have to go to any passports office and stay all day waiting, instead, you only come on appointment, get attended to and leave without wasting your time.”
The National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), of SERVICOM, Mrs. Nnenna Akajemeli, while stressing on the importance of the chatroom and call centre as well as the drive for ICT by the agency, said the resuscitation of the call centre and new chatroom is a sure sign that the NIS is poised and determined to render efficient service to Nigerians.
She explained that the live chatroom will not only ensure real time response to customer enquiries and complaints, but also openness in governance and opens up government processes.
According to her, “We are are no longer in the era of bribes as everything is down to e-government. These services are here for Nigerians and they must learn to take advantage of having a real time engagement with the government.
“The NIS is the most reformed government institution that is customer sensitive taking advantage of the ICT era for improved service delivery to Nigerians and foreigners alike.”
She however urged the media to partner with government to enlighten the public on this much easier way of doing business with government in order to curb corruption and improve service delivery to all.