According to a statement by the Service Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller of Immigration Ekpedeme King, the Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede said this while addressing Assistant Comptrollers-General and above at the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters in Abuja.
According to him the existing channels will be followed when treating applications for facilities but the difference is that it will be done electronically. To this end, the CGI is to establish an electronic mail desk in his office that will be connected to all offices, while a Chief Superintendent of Immigration has already been appointed as desk officer.
In the same vein the CGI has delegated some of his responsibilities such as the approval of certain categories of passport applications to his Deputies and Assistants in order to reduce the work load for the CGI as well as facilitate the processing of passport. “It is our administration and you must be seen to be part of it and accept such responsibilities to goes with your office” Babandede advised.
Also, the State Governments will be expected to provide Comptrollers in their States with the lists of State commissioners, and aides of their Governors for verification. The Comptrollers will confirm the eligibility of the applicants to the Service Headquarters. This reform is to facilitate the process of issuance of official/service passports as the approval would have been granted before they visit the Service Headquarters for biometric data acquisition. He said, “Since the State Comptrollers are closer to this tier of government, they are better placed to verify the eligibility of the applicants to official passports and convey same to us electronically”.
Babandede also stated that it is his desire “to reform our processes down to the Local Government Area level in order to promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria. For as we all know when the foreign investors bring their business to Nigeria they also provide employment opportunities for our teeming youths”.
He has set a timeline of two months to complete the reforms in passport administration.