Stories by Ime Akpan
To tackle the problem of low-level corruption at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has tagged the counters of all its officers to monitor their conduct and performance while on duty.
The NIS took the step following the call on the chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Mr. Ekpo Nta to focus attention on the activities in the system and help end low level corruption at the nation’s airports.”
Blueprint observed at the airport that each officer on duty has a removable tag placed on his counter as he attends to arriving and/or departing passengers.
It was further observed that all the 16 immigration counters for processing arriving passengers were tagged while the same was also done for the departing passengers.
An immigration officer who craved anonymity told Blueprint in an interview that the tag is removed when an officer finishes his or her duty while the new officer, who is taking over from him puts his name on the tag for easy identification.
The source added that the Comptroller General of NIS, Mr. David Parradang gave the new directive to NIS at airports to have their name tag displayed for proper identification of its officers, especially those who have contact with passengers.
He claimed that the new directive became imperative to curb the excesses of some of the officers who were bent on denting the image of the Service by corrupt practices, especially while attending to passengers with virgin passports and foreigners entering the country through any of the international airports, despite measures put in place to checkmate such unholy practices among the NIS personnel.
It would be recalled that recently the minister of aviation, Mr. OsitaChidoka said Nigeria’s image as a corrupt country was reinforced by the experience of foreigners who had contact with Nigerians at Lagos Airport.