The Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, has solicited the support of the Lagos State government to establish more passport offices in Lagos to ease Passport processing, issuance of visas and proper documentation of migrants in the State.
The Acting Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mrs Wura-Ola Adepoju, made the call when she led other management members on a courtesy visit to Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Mrs Adepoju who noted that the bulk of visas and passports issued by the Service are done in Lagos, identified challenges confronting the NIS in the State to include small office space, outdated equipment and furniture and appealed to Governor Sanwo-olu to help refurbish some of its offices to international standard and provide land to build new offices at Ibeju Lekki, Alagbon, Ikoyi and Ikeja for Improved service delivery.
“We have studied the system and we have seen where human interferences cause delays in the issuance of passports and we are going to eliminate that and then, we do a lot with Internet, we have asked our partners to step up to improve the Internet services” she said.
The NIS acting Comptroller General emphasized the urgent need to address challenges faced by Nigerians in obtaining travel documents and declared that the support of the state government would help tackle such issues effectively.
Responding, Governor Sanwo-olu who promised to assist the Immigration Service to serve Lagos residents better, urged the management team to leverage on technology to fast track issuance of passports, visa on arrival, and to be more friendly to attract foreign investors into the country.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also advised the NIS to review its planning and budget for effective service delivery
He said “As you’ve pointed out that half of your requests come from Lagos, this is because of how cosmopolitan the State is, it is the centre of commercial economy and prosperity of our country, so rightly so, what I will advice is that, whilst you want to be in the 36 States, do a budget sharing to accommodate the goose that lays the golden egg, where people need your services more, we are not saying you should abandoned the other parts of the country, but it is important you give priority to providing service in Lagos, we as a government, we are ready to support you”