The Federal Government on Wednesday knocked a traveling agency, Wakanow for procuring and selling the country’s passport above the official price.
Wakanow had offered a 64-page passport with a five-year validity for N57,000 and N95,000 for a document with 10-year validity.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said the official price for a five-year passport is N35,000 and N70,000 for a passport with a 10-year validity period.
The statement read: “The attention of the Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has been drawn to a certain publication on the Instagram page of one online platform known as Wakanow.com offering possible assistance to prospective passport applicants to procure various categories of passports for them at given sums of money.”
“We wish to state categorically that Wakanow.com has no authorization whatsoever from us to charge and procure passports for any applicant at such frivolous sums and that none of our passports cost as much as the outrageous amounts stated in the said publication.”
NIS advised Nigerians to visit immigration.gov.ng to apply and pay online for the various categories of passports of their choice and avoid patronising “touts” who are out to defraud them of their hard-earned money in the guise of procuring passports for them.”
However, findings by Ripples Nigeria revealed that contrary to the NIS claims, a passport with a five-year validity period is sold for N57,000 while the document with a 10-year grace costs N95,000 at the Passport Office in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Although the booklet is currently unavailable at the Lagos Passport Office, Ripples Nigeria gathered that Nigerians can obtain passports of 10-year validity for N100,000 or more at the black market.
In Enugu, a passport with five-year validity costs N40,000 at the Passport office, according to an applicant who recently obtained the travel permit.
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