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Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by Mynd44: 2:07pm On Sep 14
Nigerians who apply for new passports or reissuance have cried out that they are being extorted of various sums of money by officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, and National Identity Management Commission, NIMC.

Since the Federal Government last year mandated the use of the National Identification Number, NIN, for all transactions in the country, some private and public sector officials have resorted to exploring the bureaucracy surrounding its process to exploit Nigerians.
AljazirahNigeria had in the first series of this special report carried out by its undercover reporter beamed its searchlight on activities of NIMC and NIS, uncovering how officials of the agencies engage in massive extortion of innocent passport applicants in their offices.

The NIS headquarters, located along the ever busy Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua expressway in Abuja, is one full of activities anytime, any day, such that a first time visitor might easily be frustrated. Arriving at the NIS headquarters, it does not seem as though the untoward practices going on can ever happen there. There are two gates, being two layers of security, and there are immigration officers stationed at the gates, who profile people before they are allowed access into the NIS headquarters premises.

Immediately after the second layer of security, by the right is a building housing the data centre of the NIS which on a good day, is more of a beehive, filled with people, not to mention there are no air conditioners, and the place is usually stuffy. Meanwhile, there is a waiting area, but the experience is generally frustrating.

When a person applies for a Nigerian passport, usually done online, they, thereafter, go to the data centre of the NIS to have their biometrics captured. To be captured, the bio data on applicant’s NIN must be verified against data the applicant filled while applying for the passport online. When there is a mismatch, the data have to be corrected.

Findings by this newspaper reveal that most often, the mismatch is usually with the data on the NIN. When this is the case, the passport application returns NIN verification failed. As a matter of fact, NIMC already has a presence at the NIS headquarters to make passport and NIN application seamless. This means passport applicants make use of the NIMC office inside the NIS headquarters premises in droves to have their data corrected.

However, the experience at the data capture centre was not any different from the NIMC when our reporter visited both in the course of this investigation. The visit notwithstanding the exhaustiveness afforded our reporter the opportunity of discovering first hand (with evidence) how officials of both agencies are extorting money from persons applying for Nigerian passports.

NIMC, under the purview of the Minister of Commission and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, especially might be the culprit in abetting the extortion of passport applicants through what is known at NIS offices as “your NIN never drop” or “your NIN is yet to drop”.

Meanwhile, to have data on NIN corrected, the NIMC has listed the mandatory requirements for the modification of NIN data to include the presentation of the original copy of the NIN slip issued after the first registration and printout of the Remita Retrieval Reference, RRR, Number given at the bank after payment or a printout stating the payment details if the payment was made online.

Other mandatory requirements for the modification of NIN data are an application letter duly signed by the applicant for change in the data fields he/she wishes to modify stating the reason, and the supporting document to back the proposed changes to be submitted accordingly.

After meeting the mandatory requirements above, the supporting documents for data modification applicants are expected to provide in the case of change of name are sworn affidavit, newspaper extract or marriage certificate (in cases of marriage).

In the case an applicant is applying for change of address, they are expected to present a utility bill, tenancy agreement, bank statement or community leader attestation.

For change of phone number due to loss or mechanical damage, change of level of education and change of occupation, applicants are required to present a police report, certificate obtained and employment offer letter respectively.

AljazirahNigeria gathered that for every data field to be modified, a service fee of N500 per field is expected to be remitted by the applicant, except for change of date of birth, which attracts a service fee of fifteen thousand Naira (N15,000.00) only. However, findings reveal that NIMC officials do not comply with the mandatory requirements for modification of NIN data, as officials of the Commission cut corners and flagrantly flout the laid down procedures for the modification of NIN data.

While some fields in the data are non-updatable and cannot be modified, the NIMC listed updatable fields as names; date of birth; addresses; phone number; place of birth – State; place of birth LGA; place of birth country (if different from Nigeria); place of origin – State; place of origin – town, village, and place of origin – LGA.

Other updatable fields are father’s NIN; father’s town, village of origin; father’s State of origin; father’s LGA of origin; mother’s NIN; mother’s town, village of origin; mother’s State of origin, and mother’s LGA of origin.

At the reception office, an officer approached applicants: “Do you have your National Identity Management Card, NIMC, slip?”

“We need photocopies of your NIMC slip, your age declaration or birth certificate, certificate of your indigenship; either local government or state. That is all we need,” the officer said.

“The payment for the booklet depends on the type of booklet. The 32-paged booklet is N28, 000 here, (as against the official 25, 000) and because this is an express office and you get your booklet on the same day you get captured. You also pay an additional N30, 000 through our POS, as we do not accept cash.”

He explained that since the office operations started, all booklets issued were done within 24 hours and to fast-track the process for applicants, a NIMC office has been opened within the premises where interested individuals could obtain a NIMC slip at the cost of N3,000.

The non-updatable fields are gender, NIN, State of registration, LGA of registration, registration centre, ward, polling unit, date of death, date of death type, tracking number, date of registration; originating centre; loading centre, ID card number, applicant’s fingerprint, applicant’s fingerprint reason and applicant’s signature

Findings by our correspondent at the NIS headquarters revealed that NIMC officials coerce applicants who want to modify their NIN data, fraudulently collect money from them, and jump the mandatory requirements to modify the NIN data for them.

“To change your name you have to present an affidavit, newspaper extract and pay N500 to NIMC through Remita for us to do it. But, if you give us N5,000, we will get it done for you immediately,” an immigration officer [names withheld] who serves as a partner in crime to an NIMC official [names withheld], told our reporter who presented himself as an applicant at the NIMC office inside the NIS headquarters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

However, despite making the requested payment, the modification of the reporter’s names was yet to reflect at NIS weeks after. When the reporter approached the NIS official, he was told to make another payment of N5,000 before the NIN could drop. He specifically dropped account details with which to receive the payment.

Meanwhile, several other passport applicants, some at the NIS headquarters have narrated similar or even worse ordeals to AljazirahNigeria. It was observed based on applicants’ accounts that the practice, which began almost immediately when the FG made NIN mandatory last year, has now turned to norm.

AljazirahNigeria’s investigation also revealed that the officials charge applicants arbitrarily for new passport, passport re-issue and even change of name.

Some of the applicants who spoke to AljazirahNigeria said even when the passports are ready, the Immigration officials would insist that an applicant should pay N1,000 before you collect it.

One of the applicants who spoke to AljazirahNigeria, Chuka Igwe said, “I have been coming here since last week to get a passport because I want to travel out of the country. First, they said the fee is N25, 500 but now they have jacked it to N35, 500. Everybody is telling you to pay this and that and the place is chaotic. The whole thing is frustrating,” he said.

Another applicant, said she came for the re-issuing of her passport which has expired “and they said I should pay compliance fee and when I asked them what compliance fee is for, the man just pushed me aside and walked past. I just noticed that many of the officials are unruly and behaving as if they are not accountable to anyone.”

Checks by AljazirahNigeria on the official Facebook page of NIMC show the page is replete with similar complaints. However, the Commission never responds to the complaints nor gets the complaints addressed. Calls pulled through to the telephone number shared via the Facebook page were never answered. Text messages are never replied to.

A further investigation by AljazirahNigeria revealed that when a modification is done on an NIN data field, the update does not immediately synchronize with the central database of NIMC. The modification is not automated with the central database of the NIMC and usually takes weeks to months, providing the loophole for NIS and NIMC officials to collude with themselves in extorting money from passport applicants in their numbers.


Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by FortifiedCity: 2:10pm On Sep 14

Let Nigerians cry for Nigeria, I'm a heavenly citizen dwelling in the midst of misfits


Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by slawormiir: 2:13pm On Sep 14
Damnnn niggar
Too bad....

Corruption everywhere....

We are not really angry about corruption. We are just criticising and pretending to be angry about corruption because we are not the ones carrying out the corruption

60 Likes 6 Shares

Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by Azoubouyike(m): 2:13pm On Sep 14

1 Like 2 Shares

Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by faithfull18(f): 2:13pm On Sep 14
This has been happening for years, it's nothing new. The prices reported as seen are fair. To correct your information sef, you pay heavily.


Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by BIGGIE121(m): 2:14pm On Sep 14
Na we be our own problem
Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by greatiyk4u(m): 2:14pm On Sep 14
Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by SuperNova33: 2:14pm On Sep 14
It's so common that they don't even think it is a crime anymore

They are open about it and if you can't pay you can follow due process and due process will be due whenever the process is due.

But if you grease the palms they will sharply turn palm wine to palm oil for you. It's the same everywhere in Nigeria.

The option of bribery is always open... pay as you go country.


Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by TripleOh7: 2:15pm On Sep 14
Nigeria can NEVER be saved.

Everywhere you turn, corruption.


Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by Lattop(m): 2:15pm On Sep 14
All Parastatals of Nigerian Government is full of Corruption


Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by Chuvin22(m): 2:16pm On Sep 14
Old news.
And you can’t fight them. You’ll be hurting yourself.

Thing wey spoil for this country too countless.

16 Likes 1 Share

Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by BrickDevo: 2:16pm On Sep 14
Will they change, I doubt, at the top is a criminal head, no be only dia e dey nah, school clearance, even to register for NIN, issuance of Lga certificates, driver's licence, to tell you the truth Nigerians get issues, put a black man in power, he will use it to oppress others, he will start feeling he is a god, the problem of Nigerians is not just the government, it is also the people.... Tueh!

13 Likes 1 Share

Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by money121(m): 2:16pm On Sep 14
Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by franchasng: 2:17pm On Sep 14
Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by TripleOh7: 2:17pm On Sep 14

Let Nigerians cry for Nigeria, I'm a heavenly citizen dwelling in the midst of misfits

I hope the food you're eating is heavenly food and the clothes you wear were both at the heavenly market.


Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by Neduzze5(m): 2:17pm On Sep 14

The level of decay in Nigeria under this corrupt government is at its lowest lows!!

May God come to our aid.

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by Teewhy2: 2:17pm On Sep 14
many people just out there to extort the next available person.

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1 Like

Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by chukwuibuipob: 2:17pm On Sep 14
sadsad Nothing work in dis country bank security,MTN security will extort u .May Ogun lakaye seal patami orifice sad. NIN is useless if u can't track Ur stolen phone angry


Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by Goldbw122: 2:17pm On Sep 14
Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by Pollze: 2:18pm On Sep 14
Same here
Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by BREYZ: 2:18pm On Sep 14

I applied for my passport since 2nd July and till this moment the passport isn't ready. One immigration officer is requesting I pay extra 20k for it to be ready in a week. This country is messed up.


Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by lasthero: 2:18pm On Sep 14
Na today?, e Don tey

1 Like

Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by McOluOmo: 2:19pm On Sep 14
9ja has gone BANANAS

Guys wey no get girlfriend get peace of mind

Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by checkmatez: 2:19pm On Sep 14
Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by highoctane: 2:19pm On Sep 14
Too bad, isn't there something to do about it?
It is only in heaven, where corruption do not exist.

1 Like

Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by Tomide59(m): 2:19pm On Sep 14

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Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by elmessiahs(m): 2:20pm On Sep 14
We're tired of crying, who do we report to?


Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by DropsMic(m): 2:20pm On Sep 14
We are blacks... All these things are Normal.
Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by Kingstanding: 2:20pm On Sep 14
Too bad, isn't there something to do about it?
. Nothing can be done. This behaviour or attitude by Nigerian immigration has been in existence and I'm not bothered. If you wanna follow due process in getting Nigerian passport I'm damn sure it will take you three years before you get it. To avoid trouble pay correct money. 98% of Nigerians will behave same way this immigration people are behaving if they are in their position. Immigration too will chop na.

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: Passport: Immigration, NIMC Extort Nigerians by LibertyRep: 2:21pm On Sep 14
The thing is, before this report, everyone knows the magnitude of rot and extortion going in that sector, but chose to look the other way.

The sad thing is that even after this report, NOTHING will still happen to the perpetrators.


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