By Kalada Jumbo
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has identified the kind of change that is required to successfully fight corruption in Nigeria. He said a holistic attitudinal change is required, if the Nigeria Immigration Service is to effectively tackle the scourge of corruption.
The fight against corruption requires collective effort of all Immigration personnel and Nigerians, because of its complexity and endemic nature, he noted.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Tammy Danagogo, stated this in Port Harcourt on Friday, August 6, at the 2021 sensitization and enlightenment workshop for officers of the Rivers State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service.
Gov. Wike observed that since the attitude of immigration personnel at the airports often influence
Gov. Wike observed that all strategy and mechanism must be deployed to tackle corruption in the immigration service since the perception of foreigners visiting Nigeria are often influenced by the attitude of immigration personnel at the airports.
Gov. Wike described the theme of the workshop (Zero Tolerance Approach to Corruption: A pathway to Quality Service Delivery And Attitudinal Change) as apt and remarked that Nigeria is on her knee at present, as corruption has eaten deep into every fabric of the country.
The governor said he recalls that a foreigner who recently visited the State had complained about how an immigration personnel at the airport demanded for N5000 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 N5000.”
“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.
“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,” he added.
Gov. Wike commended the Service for organizing the workshop which was intended to equip immigration personnel with the knowledge and skill required 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.”
“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,’ Mr. Idowu noted.