22 October 2008

Nigerian Immigration Service retrieving diplomatic passports

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The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) is retrieving diplomatic passports from former legislators, in an attempt to crack down on the abuse of special travelling documents, reports the Vanguard.

The NIS Comptroller-General Mr Chukwura Udeh said some former legislators were  refusing to surrender their passports for review and were warned they would not be renewed if they did not comply with the request.

Mr Udeh said an online system has been created so that all revenue collected from passport and Nigerian visa applications are collected electronically and not siphoned into the wrong places. 

"The payment is done in a way that the collection is done by all of us. Instead of one person collecting all the money and heading to the bank  to go and deposit that money, every applicant assists in making that payment to the central coffers," said Mr Udah.

"As far as I know all the collections we receive can be accounted for them because the collection is transparent and we can account for them."

After introducing electronic passports and visas to the Nigerian immigration system, the Government has enjoyed more than N3.35 billion (£1.6 million) in sale revenue between March and December last year, reports the Daily Triumph, which is record revenue.

Mr Udah said N3 billion was raised as direct sales revenue from the e-passports, while the rest was from issuing Nigerian visas in offshore processing offices.  He also said that prior to the introduction of the e-passport the NIS had never seen such levels of generated revenue. 

The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in Nigeria visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, Worldwide Visa Bureau.

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