Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has called for a change of attitude to enable the Nigeria Immigration Service to effectively tackle systemic corruption.
Wike stated this at the 2021 sensitization and enlightenment workshop for officers of the Rivers Command, Nigeria Immigration Service, in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The theme of the workshop is “Zero Tolerance Approach to Corruption- A pathway to Quality Service Delivery and Attitudinal Change”.
The governor, represented by Dr. Tammy Danagogo, Secretary to the State Government, said that the fight against corruption required the collective effort of all immigration personnel and Nigerians because of its complexity and endemic nature.
He observed that since the attitude of immigration personnel at the airports often influence the perception of foreigners visiting Nigeria, all strategy and mechanism should be deployed to tackle corruption in the service.
He noted that the theme was apt as corruption had eaten deep into every part of the country.
He recalled that a foreigner who recently visited the state had complained about how immigration personnel at the airport demanded N5,000 to issue a yellow card to each traveler 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 didn’t have, you were expected to pay N5,000.
”If you go to Rwanda, they will check your yellow card. But when they check, and you don’t have it, they move you to one corner where there is a doctor that will give you the immunization 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 N5,000 to collect yellow cards is the height of corruption,” Wike said.
The governor further said that the bane of the country’s woes if not eradicated, the present generation might not be able to hand over a virile and successful country to future ones.
He commended the Immigration Service for organizing the workshop intended to equip its personnel with the requisite knowledge and skills to deliver their mandate, devoid of corruption.
Commander Dayo Idowu, state Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service, said that poor service delivery and corruption had grave consequences for the development of any society.
Idowu said that Nigeria was headed for the precipice before the government established the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission in 2000 and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission in 2003 to tackle corruption in the country. (NAN)