The Federal Government has concluded plans to commence the installation of Data Capturing Machines (DCM) in 17 foreign embassies and missions.
The Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro who made this known also disclosed that a committee had been set up by the government to address, among others, corruption, extortion and begging by both uniform and non-uniform officials in all the nation’s airports.
The Nigerian community in Kenya, had during an interactive session with President Goodluck Jonathan in Nairobi, urged the government to address the challenge of procurement of the travelling documents.
Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, who is on the entourage of President Jonathan to Kenya for a state visit which ended Saturday, disclosed that it would begin the installations of the DCM in phases, assuring that the challenges of procurement and renewal of international passport and visa at foreign embassies and mission has ended.
He said the installation of the machines would also end the periodic sending of immigration officials to foreign missions and embassies for data capturing.
Moro also disclosed that officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service would be deployed to all foreign embassies and missions to operate the machines.
“Kenya is among the 17 countries that approval had been granted last week for the roll out of the DCM.
“So in the next couple of months, officials of the Ministry of Interior and Nigeria Immigration Service will be here to roll out the machines for the procurement of Passports and travelling documents in Kenya.
“I am aware that we have had the machines in some foreign missions and embassies, but there was the challenge of lack of professionals to handle them.
“It was because of that that we have agreed in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that as much as possible and as resources will take us, we will post Immigration Officers to handle our DCM.
“It is my hope that after the installation and sending of the officials the challenge of procurement of passports will be a thing of the past,” he said.
The Minister who said a committee had been set up by the government to address, among others, corruption, extortion and begging by both uniform and non-uniform officials in all the nation’s airports, explained that the Office of the Vice President set up the committee to carry out holistic reform of the operations at the airports.
Moro said government is taking measurable steps to address the various complaints of “begging and extortion” at the airports, which are gateways to the country.
“We have had problems with our Airports in the past and in line with the transformation agenda of the President a lot of reforms and re-branding in the sector had occurred in recent times.
“In order to make the reform holistic, a committee has been set up under the Office of the Vice President to define precisely who and who should be at the Airport and doing what at what time.
“While we will not completely exonerate officers who worked at the Airport from corrupt tendencies, I want to say that at the moment because of the way things were done in the past, it was actually very difficult to separate honest government officials working at the Airports from touts.
“A lot of people wear uniform and you do not know which uniform belong to what and who.
“The Committee that have been set up by the Office of the Vice President is strictly empowered to define exactly who to be at what position and doing what at one point in time.
“At that point, we will be able to know who is doing what and whether it is legitimate at the ambit of the laws establishing those institutions”, he said.
The Minister appealed to airport users to desist from giving tips in form of inducement to any officials.
He also appealed to them to report any act of begging and demand for bribe to the appropriate authorities.
“While we are doing our beats to rid our institutions of corruption, we want to implore the members of the public to make sure that they do not aid or abet these crimes.
“I have directed that, in the Immigration Service, anybody found wanting in his or her duty or found to collect inducement before doing legitimate job will be summarily dismissed from service,” he said.