For weeks, Daily Trust on Sunday traversed Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Passport Offices in Lagos and Oyo States, secretly filming and observing corrupt officials who are in the habit of extorting Nigerians applying for passports. At least, four applicants went through the compromised process aided by the officials. In the end, the well-coordinated chain of corruption and tactics of the officials and their agents were laid bare.
Michael, in his 20s, was ecstatic about having secured admission to SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences, for his post-graduate programme. The young lad requires an international passport before he heads for Germany.
Basking in the euphoria of the admission, he breezed into the Ikoyi passport office of the Nigeria Immigration Office (NIS) on a July morning for an application.
“I paid N26,000 application charges online, did some print-outs and I was given a file for the manual completion of the process,” he said.
He was able to complete the application seamlessly and did his capturing on July 5, 2021, with the assurance that he would be issued a fresh passport in six weeks’ time, according to the timeline of the federal government.
However, Michael’s passport has not been produced until more than ten weeks down the line, and sadly, he has been unable to meet up with the deadline. He deferred the admission.
“Of course, I want to use it to travel. I can’t commence a visa application without a passport.
“I have deferred my school admission because of it (delayed passport issuance) till next April,” he let out his frustration.