Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, (NIS), Muhammed Babandede, has asked Nigerians to stop paying cash at all NIS passports offices because the agency no longer receives cash payments for any of its services in order to reduce corruption in the system.
Babandede made this known while commissioning a live public chatroom and the resuscitation of the SERVICOM, (Service Compact With Nigerians), a call centre that was gutted by fire in early January in Abuja.
He noted that cash dealings in the passports process have been a major driver of corruption among undisciplined personnel, that is why the agency has brought in a number of innovations including e-business whereby the entire passports process is done online including payment for services rendered.
“Today, any customer can make payment for any of our services with his or her phone because we have simplified the process therefore, don’t come to our passports offices with cash, this will reduce corruption,” Babandede said.
“We have a more efficient communication and chat line that encourages Nigerians to reach us directly with any of their complaints and enquiries and we will respond immediately, it is real-time.
“We have improved our payment processes and eliminated too much fillings of forms and have also fashioned an appointment system whereby customers don’t have to go to any passports office and stay all day waiting, instead, you only come on an appointment, get attended to and leave without wasting your time.”
While stressing the importance of the chatroom and call centre as well as the drive for ICT by the agency, the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), of SERVICOM, Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli, said the resuscitation of the call centre and new chatroom is a sure sign that the NIS is poised and determined to render efficient service to Nigerians.
She explained that the live chatroom not only ensures real-time response to customer enquiries and complaints but also openness in governance and opens up government processes.
According to her, “We are are no longer in the era of bribes as everything is down to e-government. These services are here for Nigerians and they must learn to take advantage of having a real-time engagement with the government.
“The NIS is the most reformed government institution that is customer sensitive taking advantage of the ICT era for improved service delivery to Nigerians and foreigners alike.”
She urged the media to partner with the government to enlighten the public on this much easier way of doing business with the government in order to curb corruption and improve service delivery to all.