Pomp, as NIS opens passport front office in Sagamu
The commercial city of Sagamu, Ogun State recently came alive as a new Passport Front Office was commissioned at Olotu Michael Oyedele Avenue, GRA on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. As expected, the event played host to notable dignitaries among whom was the Governor of Ogun State, Prince (Dr.) Dapo Abiodun, MRF, represented by his Deputy, Engineer (Mrs.) Noimot Salako-Oyedele.
The commissioning of the edifice, facilitated by the Remo Growth and Development Foundation, (RemoGDF), attracted the cream of indigenes including the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, Torungbuwa II, former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Asiwaju S.K. Onafowokan, Otunba Tunji Lawal-Solarin and Aare (Dr.) Kolawole Oyefeso who are Co-Chairmen of Remo GDF Governing Council.
Others in attendance were Chief Ayotunde Oredipe, Deputy Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (rtd.), Senator Dipo Odujinrin, Otunba Seni Adetu, former Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Remo Traditional Council of Obas, Remo titled Chiefs and a host of others.
Ogun State Governor, Dr. Dapo Abiodun, on the occasion, called on the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to adopt a more coordinated approach and ensure stiffer migration control policy, while lamenting the influx of criminals into the nation’s porous borders which, according to him, posed major challenges to the operations of the Nigerian Immigration Service.
“One of the challenges of ease of access to passport to our nationals is the abuse of the system by non-Nigerians who may want to acquire our passport illegally. Some of these bad neighbours are those who give us a bad name with illegal activities and make the international community view legitimate Nigerians with suspicion”, he said, calling on the Nigerian Immigration Service to root out those criminals.
The governor further observed that establishment of the passport front office will be “a further boost to the economic viability and overall development of Ogun State. “With regard to trade and commerce, it means Ogun State is fast attaining a mega status”, he said.
Governor Abiodun added that the opening of the office, which makes Ogun State to be the second state apart from Lagos State in the South West to have two passport offices, is a confirmation of the state’s emerging status as an economic power house of the nation.
While commending the Remo Growth and Development Foundation, RemoGDF and other interest groups involved for the initiative and the feat in facilitating the project, the Governor said “it is a symbolic example of the height we could all take our state by our collaboration and support, and with strengthened collaboration, we could achieve more.”
Speaking at the occasion, the outgoing Officer-in-Charge of Ogun State Command, Assistant-Comptroller General, Mohammed Harande, recalled that the conception of the Sagamu Passport Front Office came into being during the 2017 Comptroller-General of Immigration Annual Conference in Ogun State between December 6-8, where the former Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, made a request for a new passport office which, according to him, was expressly granted by the service.
He stated that the new Passport Front Office that was being commissioned is designed as a strong contribution of the NIS towards making life easy for all residents of the State in recognition of its mega status.
Also speaking, the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Babande, represented by Assistant Comptroller-General, Muhammed Alhaji Alfa, said the idea was conceived because the immigration service “is determined to reduce to the barest minimum, all human interference in our transactions with members of the public.”
He warned officers and men of the service to shun indolence, indiscipline and corruption saying, “the Federal Government has been magnanimous enough to approve our proposal for the 10-year E-passport and passport front offices. Consequently, nothing less than corresponding performance and commitment to duty is expected from us”, adding that “we must continue to justify the confidence reposed in us.”
He stated further that the new 10-year e-passport rolled out at the headquarters in Abuja which has also been rolled out at the Ikoyi Passport Office in Lagos will soon be rolled out in all state commands across the country, assuring that more passport front offices will also be opened in places where there is high demand for it.
In his remarks, the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, Torungbuwa II, noted that the importance of the passport office cannot be overemphasized and that if Ogun State is the destination of investment, it then subsists that Remoland and its dedicated indigenes are working to position it as the capital of investment in Ogun State, saying more development projects are already lined up for commissioning.
The Chairman, Remo Growth and Development Foundation (RemoGDF) Governing Council, Otunba Tunji Lawal-Solarin, noted that the Foundation, in achieving the feat, mobilised resources from all corners to ensure the project became a reality, saying the desire to see to the rapid development of Remoland was the greatest motivating factor.
Meanwhile, the Remoland monarch has been commended for championing the initiative of RemoGDF, which facilitated the establishment of the Sagamu Passport Front Office. Co-Chairman of the Foundation, Aare Kolawole Oyefeso, gave the commendation in an interview with newsmen at the event.
Aare Oyefeso who observed that the project came to being through the initiative of the Akarigbo of Remoland, who gathered all the topnotch people of Remo together, said “the Remo Growth and Development Foundation exists to bring development to all the nooks and crannies of Remoland.”
He urged indigenes and residents of the community to support the new passport front office by encouraging people from different parts of the country to patronise it, assuring that efforts would be made to ensure that operations at the passport office would be seamless.