A Nigerian was involved in an argument with officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers state, on Friday over his refusal to pay them bribes to renew his international passport.
Checks by Blueprint revealed that cases of bribery and other forms of corruption seems to have been a frequent order of the day in the service
As revealed by a video of the encounter, after he had been told to pay more than double the renewal fee so that his passport could be ready for collection in a week, he refused, prompting a NIS official to order him out of the office.
In the video, the woman could be heard telling the man, “You’re very silly”.
“I just left the immigration office in Port Harcourt where I went to renew my international passport (32 pages) and I was asked to pay N28,000 for three-week collection or N35,000 for one-week collection instead of the N17,000 specified on their website,” he told SaharaReporters.
“I refused to pay extra and while arguing with the officer who attended to me, his superior female officer who overhead our conversation ordered me out of the office and insulted me for demanding that the right thing be done. When she noticed I had the incident recorded on my phone, she ordered her men to seize my phone.”
He expressed disappointment in the condict of the passport officials and called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the NIS management to investigate the matter.
An online media, Sahara Reporters reports that bribery in exchange for speedy preparation of passport for collection or renewal is a common feature of immigration offices across Nigeria.