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Allegations of extortion, delays trail issuance of passport by Nigeria Immigration Service

Nigerians are going through hell obtaining the passport they applied and paid for in various offices of the Nigeria Immigration Service across the country, checks on the tweeter handle of the Service have revealed.

Some of the applicants also alleged that they were being extorted by officers of the Service while seeking to collect their passports.

A run through the tweeter handle of the Service shows the depth of the citizens’ frustration with the government agency. Hardly is there a tweet by the Service that is not followed by complaints by the people.

A tweeter user, @Olamipo, said: “Good evening, I’ve applied for renewal of my passport ever since at FCT HQ and till date I’m yet to receive it. I was told no booklet. Please I need it urgently. Thank you.

“NB: I was extorted as well to pay extra money  higher above the normal price to enable it quick production. Please look into it.”

Nnabuk Akpan @NnabukAkpan2: “They (there) is no reformed in Nigeria Immigration Service…it’s even worse than before. I applied for my passport renewal since February 6 and up till now, I’ve not received it. Instead, the #curruptofficials are demanding for 50k #bribe. Is that what you called reformed. #Shametoyou!”

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Tweeting with @IeldaNzeh Nzeh Imelda Chisom said: “Please i need help, i applied for an international passport since last year december in owerri and till now they’ve refused to give it me, they keep telling me that there are no booklets available, please visit this issue soon because the passport is urgently needed, thanks.”

Demigod @Unusual_demigod:  “Good afternoon, I’ve applied for my passport since 14th November 2019 at Ibadan, and tlll date I’m yet to receive it. I was told no booklet. Please I need it urgently. Thank you.”

Bee O.@bizzolicious: “Please I have been visiting Ikoyi passport office for more than 2 weeks now to collect my passport but I keep hearing different stories: it’s not ready come back today come back tomorrow. But I see other people processing theirs in one day. How wicked and unfair can this be.”

TopeOgundele @obaloluwasa: “Please, how has @nigimmigration been reformed to be a better organization when people still pay 48,000 to collect passport, when you do not reply enquiries, when your officers still force travellers to pay because they have virgin passport?”

READ  Human trafficking: PJI  urges proper trauma management for returnees

deyk_chi @johndennis121:”Please I need your help I applied for my passport reissue paid and was captured in your office here in Port Harcourt, is getting to 2 months still can’t get positive response from them,my interview next week Tuesday please help me. Name:JOHN DENNIS CHIBUISI Enrollment ID:543888.”

 

Neycrystal@Neycrystal1: “I am deeply depressed right now cause of my passport I renewed since December and till now am yet 2 get it @ ur office Abk without the passport there is no means of livelihood for me and my family I am broke depressed and confused ,Is this what I get bn a citizen of dis country.”

Ray@theraywholives: “I have placed different comments under ur posts & I have seen similar questions about “no booklet” issues in Umuahia & u have selectively replied comments on here. It’s unfair & unprofessional. People need passports asap & here you are posting QSD as if y’all deliver at all.”

Engineer Dami@TolulopeOduwole: “Good morning. I applied for a renewal of my passport in Abeokuta on the 8th Feb 2020, till now I haven’t received it. They are telling me there is no booklet available. Please help me look into it sir. Thanks Name: ODUWOLE IBRAHIM OLUWADAMILOLA Enrol ID: 473137 @raufaregbesola.”

READ  Edo goes after assets, properties of traffickers

The NIS responded by asking a number of the  disgruntled applicants to  submit their details. It is yet  to be established if the Service has attended to the complaints.

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Edo goes after assets, properties of traffickers

 

The Edo State Government plans to go after the assets and properties of persons behind the wanton trafficking of indigenes of the state.

Governor Godwin Obaseki told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday that proceeds from such properties would be ploughed into the rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees.

Convicting the perpetrators and liquidating their assets, according to the governor, will serve as a deterrent to others who are still scouting for vulnerable Nigerians to traffic.

The governor, who was among guests at an event held at the British High Commission in Abuja on Thursday, however, said that the state had been hindered by delays in prosecution.

He said whereas government had recruited competent prosecutors, judicial processes, long adjournments and handling of victims’ testimonies were delaying government’s move to get convictions.

He said: “We have been able to intensify investigation and prosecution. But unfortunately, we have not been able to get any conviction.

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“Not because the prosecutors are not doing their utmost best, but because of the very nature of our legal system.

“We are working very hard with the high courts and NAPTIP to ensure that we get convictions.

“This can serve as a deterrent and punishment to the perpetrators, ensuring that they lose property and they lose assets with which we will now use in supporting the rehabilitation of victims.

“We will work with the judiciary to try and reduce the long adjournments and also the way they treat evidences from victims.

“Many of these victims are afraid of revealing information on their traffickers because of threats, but we are taking measures to provide safe houses for them and to provide cover for them until we are able to get prosecutions.”

The governor said that in the last four years under his watch, the number of persons trafficked from the state had reduced with rehabilitation and reintegration of over 6,500 returnees.

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He said that the focus for the government, working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), is to re-humanise the victims and restore their dignity.

He added that the government also, in the process of rehabilitation, extracts information from the victims in a bid to understand the scope and nature of the network.

“We have rehabilitated over 6,500 victims of trafficking and irregular migration working with partners like the IOM.

“We have also used the opportunity to extract a lot of data to understand the nature and scope of all these trafficking network and crisis.

“With that information, we now understand what drives people and what have driven people to be trafficked, the areas they come from, their social situation and economic situations.

“That has helped us to put strategies in place to combat trafficking in Edo state.

“You would see from records available that the incidence of trafficking and irregular migration in Edo state over the last three years has dropped dramatically,” he said.

READ  Human trafficking: PJI  urges proper trauma management for returnees

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JIFORM to African leaders: give youths social security to combat human trafficking

Ajibola JIFORM President

JIFORM President Ajibola

As the world marks the 2021 Day Against Trafficking In Persons on July 30, the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) has urged government in Africa to pay more attention to the social security schemes to stem the tide of human trafficking on the continent.

The global media body with over 300 journalists covering migration across the continents is hosting its 3rd global migration summit in partnership with the Altec Global Inc, Toronto Canada and others at the Niagara Falls in the country between November 29 to December 6, this year.

The President of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi in a statement noted that “the major pull factor of human trafficking in Africa is poverty. The youths being trafficked need jobs, shelter, security and empowerment. Before we can ensure that the victims’ voices lead the way as the theme of the 2021 anti-human trafficking day implies, every government on the continent must not pretend on the relevance of improved socio- economic status for their citizens. Time to do needful is now by being honest and set aside undue semantics and theories.

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“We salute the doggedness of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) in Nigeria. The law establishing the agency should be reviewed to mandate the leadership of the agency to be totally professional and hierarchically structured as uniformed organization.

“NAPTIP needs more funding to recruit more hands and have its presence in the 774 local governments in Nigeria. The agency should be more strategically involved in the migration process of mostly young Nigerian ladies to be sure of their mission at the airports through collaboration with the Nigeria Immigration Service.

“Youth empowerment is very key to any preventive measure. Poverty, economic hardship and ignorance are the major weapons being used by the traffickers to sway victims in Africa especially Nigeria.

“Therefore, for the theme of this year’s anti-human trafficking day to be meaningful in Nigeria and Africa, JIFORM agrees totally that listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking are very important. Survivors are key actors in the fight against human trafficking.

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“But how well have we re-integrate many of them into the society? The victims play a crucial role in establishing effective measures to prevent this crime, identifying and rescuing victims and supporting them on their road to rehabilitation.

“We cannot agree less with the United Nations that many victims of human trafficking have experienced ignorance or misunderstanding in their attempts to get help. They have had traumatic post-rescue experiences during identification interviews and legal proceedings. Some have faced revictimization and punishment for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers. Others have been subjected to stigmatization or received inadequate support. So, we must rise to implement the preventive measures and defend the victims.

“Learning from victims’ experiences and turning their suggestions into concrete actions will lead to a more victim-centered and effective approach in combating human trafficking. The media too must play its roles to carry out more campaigns to complement what is expected from the government” Ajibola added.

READ  Pope Francis: It's injustice that causes migrants to die at sea

 

 

 

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IOM rushes to help refugees as deadly monsoon rains wreak havoc in Bangladesh

 

IOM, Rohingya volunteers and partners are working relentlessly to assist those affected by this week’s heavy rains in Bangladesh. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah Al

Cox’s Bazar – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today many of the more than 13,000 Rohingya refugees forced out of their camps by flooding in Cox’s Bazar which has killed at least six people were returning to their shelters to salvage belongings after a break in heavy rains, but the risk of more casualties remained high.

IOM said a total of more than 21,000 refugees had been affected and almost 4,000 shelters were destroyed. Food distribution centres, health facilities and water points have been damaged during three days of non-stop rain.

The six confirmed dead were killed in landslides or drowned in two IOM-managed camps and officials fear more flooding and landslides will prevent help reaching others among the total of 884,000 Rohingya refugees in the country.

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Access to the camps is hazardous as constant landslides block the main roads leading to the camps, and major routes used by refugees and humanitarian actors are under water.

Up to 2,000 people have been evacuated from landslide-prone areas in Teknaf upazila (sub-district).

“Heavy rainfall is expected during the next few days, and as such, challenges are likely to increase,” said Manuel Marques Pereira, IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh.

“Over the past few months, IOM has been assessing the risk of landslides, strengthening drainage networks, installing slope protection measures and upgrading key pathways. However, despite multiple disaster risk reduction measures being implemented, the camp congestion, excessive rain and poor soil quality, make it extremely difficult to cope with the elements,” Pereira said.

One hundred Rohingya Disaster Management Unit (DMU) volunteers trained in each camp have been working around the clock and focusing on helping the most vulnerable, including the elderly and pregnant women. IOM teams are assessing the damage and working closely with the different sectors to refer those affected for relevant assistance. Mobile medical teams have been deployed and the protection emergency response unit has been activated.

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Staff on the ground are clearing drainage pipes, repairing damage and distributing emergency shelter kits, core relief items, and aquatabs to prevent waterborne diseases.

IOM has sent in Cyclone Preparedness Programme volunteers to urgently assist host community members.

Families have taken refuge in six different multi-purpose cyclone shelters where they are currently being assisted with relief items, protection and medical support. Since 2019, IOM has been supporting the rehabilitation of MPCS so community members can take shelter in case of disasters.

The current flood emergency further exacerbates the massive humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. After almost four years since the latest influx of Rohingya refugees who arrived in Bangladesh from neighbouring Myanmar, IOM is relying on its partners to continue to support the response.

Additional support is needed to enable teams to continue to assist those affected, as well as the rest of the refugees currently residing in the camps. As always, IOM advocates for the continuation of a comprehensive humanitarian assistance for refugees across all camps.

READ  Human trafficking: PJI  urges proper trauma management for returnees

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