The Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Mr. Ekpo Nta has vowed to intensify the current onslaught on some travel agents and touts using dubious means to obtain visa for the unsuspecting public through corrupt practices.
Declaring open a one-day National Seminar on Visa Acquisition by the Commission at Jevinik Place at Ikeja recently on the theme: Instilling Integrity in Visa Procurement Process in Nigeria, the Chairman said ICPC has over time recovered 372 international passports from racketeers and visa fraudsters as part of an on-going sanitization of corruption-prone processes in the acquisition of visas and clampdown on racketeers.
He said ICPC had initiated several arrests after receiving an ever-increasing number of petitions from prospective students seeking educational placements and patients seeking medical attention abroad who were duped by some dubious agents.
“As a matter of fact, we have had the opportunity of going round all the universities in Israel because we were carrying out systems studies in Nigerian universities. Most of the things we saw there we have incorporated as part of systems studies here in Nigeria. We have also audited some intelligence courses which we have brought back to bear on our own functions in ICPC.
“God has blessed Nigeria with resources; and if we decide to apply our intellect, I believe we will be sitting on top of the whole world. If we utilize the wealth we have in this country and the resources in terms of human and material, people will be looking for visas to come to Nigeria and not the other way round.”
Prominent among the resource persons at the well-attended seminar were the representative of the Indian High Commissioner to the country, Mr. A. R. Ghanashyam; the Mexican Ambassador Mr. Marco Antonio Garcia Blanco; the President of the National Association of Travel Agents of Nigeria (NATAN) Alhaji Aminu Koffar and the representative of the Controller-General Nigerian Immigration Services Mr. David Paradang.