The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has accused corrupt officials within the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) of sabotaging efforts to improve the application and issuance of passports in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration of the NIS Passport Front Office in Oyo Town, Oyo State, the minister dismissed rumours of a shortage of passport booklets and blamed a few corrupt officials for spreading the falsehood to extort applicants.
Aregbesola stated that the establishment of the new facility would reduce the pressure on the Ibadan centre and help to decongest it.
He added that one of the challenges facing the NIS in the passport application process is the few corrupt officials within the service who undermine efforts to improve the system.
He stated that these corrupt officials create unnecessary difficulties for applicants and spread false rumours that there are no passport booklets available, which is untrue.
Aregbesola insisted that the NIS has enough booklets to meet the demand of the people, and there is no shortage of booklets in their production schedule.
The minister identified the lack of offices to enrol and capture applicants as one of the major problems facing the NIS in its efforts to improve the passport application process.