Friday, August 6, 2021 10:16 pm
Okafor Ofiebor Port Harcourt
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says holistic attitudinal change is required if the Nigeria Immigration Service is to effectively tackle the scourge of corruption.
He noted that the fight against corruption requires collective effort of all Immigration personnel and Nigerians, because of its complexity and endemic nature.
Governor Wike stated this at the 2021 sensitization and enlightenment workshop for officers of the Rivers State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, observed that since the attitude of immigration personnel at the airports often influence the perception of foreigners visiting Nigeria, all strategy and mechanism must be deployed to tackle corruption in the immigration service.
Governor Wike, who described the workshop’ s theme: ” Zero Tolerance Approach to corruption- A pathway to Quality Service Delivery And Attitudinal Change” as apt, remarked that Nigeria is on her knee at present, as corruption has eaten deep into every fabric of the country.
He recalled that a foreigner who recently visited the State had complained about how immigration personnel at the airport demanded for N5,000 to issue yellow card to each traveller who didn’t have the travel document.
“The person was complaining bitterly to me that when they arrived, a desk was created to check whether they had a yellow card. And if you don’t have yellow card, you are expected to pay N5,000.”
He continued: “If you go to Rwanda, they will check your yellow card. But when they check, if you don’t have it, they move you to one corner and they have the doctor that will give you the immunisation before you enter the country.
“But, here, there are no doctors. So if there are no doctors and you won’t quarantine them (visitors), then you let them go. Paying N5000 to collect yellow card is the height of corruption.”
He stressed that if corruption which has been identified as the bane of the country’s woes is not eradicated, the present generation may not be able to handover a virile and successful country to future generations.
Governor Wike commended the Nigeria Immigration Service for organizing the workshop intended to equip its personnel with the requisite knowledge and skill to deliver their mandate, devoid of corruption.
The Comptroller of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Rivers State Command, Dayo Idowu, noted that the twin vices of poor service delivery and corruption have grave consequences for the development of any society.
He said Nigeria was headed for the precipice before the government in 2000 established the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, (ICPC) and then the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, ( EFCC), in 2003 to tackle corruption in the country.