Lagos - The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) on Friday said that it has deployed its officers and men to over 90 countries since it began the e-passport intervention exercise in 2010.
Assistant Controller of Immigration (ACI), Joachim Olumba, who is the service spokesman, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that the intervention was evolved to ensure that Nigerians in the Diaspora had the opportunity to acquire the passport without having to return to the country.
``The exercise involved the deployment of immigration officers to our foreign missions to issue e-passport to Nigerians.
``The service saw this as an avenue to ensure that Nigerians did not fall out of immigration status with the cut-over to the new e-passport.
``So far, the passport intervention exercise has continued to progress smoothly with the last selected officers and men about to conclude their assignments,’’ he said.
Olumba described allegations in some quarters that there was an estacode scam by some of its officers involved in the intervention as cheap blackmail.
NAN reports that some officers had been accused of short-changing the service by collecting estacode for official trips without travelling.
Olumba said that the allegation was untrue and aimed at tarnishing the image of the service and its leadership.
The spokesman told NAN that the selected officers and men had been travelling in phases due to limited number of mobile enrolment machines available for the exercise.
Olumba observed that estacode for the trip could be paid to individual officers and men in advance but travelling of some, might be delayed.
He said that mischief makers might have capitalised on such instances and unjustifiably turned it against the service.
The spokesman said that the exercise had continued to attract accolades to the service from Nigerian communities and associations abroad, as well as from the head of Nigerian missions overseas.