Saturday, 8 April 2017
Booklet scarcity: Passport applicants surge C’ River Immigration office
Our correspondent learnt on Friday that the applicants, who come in mostly from neighbouring South-South and South Eastern states, had expressed happiness that the command had kept to the Comptroller General’s directive to issue passports within 24 hours.
At least no fewer than 100 applicants had come in from neighbouring states in the last couple of weeks to get their passports from the Calabar centre.
Passport Officer in charge of the Cross River Command, Mr. Ime Nta, who acknowledged that there had been shortage of booklets in some states, disclosed that the command would not discriminate in the issuance of passports to Nigerians irrespective of the state of origin.
“A lot of applicants come to the Calabar office from other states to get their passports. We do not restrict them since they are Nigerians and no applicant comes here without going back with his or her passport within 24 hours,” Nta said.
But in achieving the feat, Nta disclosed that he took stringent steps to eliminate touting around the office and instilled discipline by ensuring that officers working under him followed stipulated rules.
“You cannot find a tout in the NIS passport office in Calabar. Every officer is engaged, no influence, no interference,” he stated.
An applicant, Rev. Fr. John Uko, of the Queen of Apostle Seminary in Akwa Ibom State, had on collecting his passport with 24 hours of application, remarked that it was surprising to observe that things could work in the country if workers were dedicated.
“I am convinced by their services and attitude to customers, for which I am happy to be a beneficiary. They have displayed high sense of discipline,” he said.
Another applicant, Rear Admiral Peter Onaji, who is the Fleet Commander of the Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy in Calabar, simply said, “Their service delivery is of high standard as all the officers and men were at work.”