TRAVELLING out of the country has always been a troubling experience for me and other Nigerians. This is because of the unnecessary harassment experienced from the officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). I am making special reference to those manning the luggage check-in areas.
I have had to part with some ‘perks’ for Immigration officials to allow my luggage to pass whenever I carried foodstuffs. They were not contraband.
Oftentimes, whether I had foodstuffs in my luggage or not, the NIS officials never ceased to amaze and annoy me with their stylish begging: “Madam, what do you have for us?”
I was travelling with that same mentality of experiencing the usual drama on my last trip in August when, to my surprise, no NIS official was present at the luggage check-in area.
The Federal Government’s decision to withdraw them from that area is a welcome development and a huge relief.
But the problem has not yet ended. Going through the security checks, one usually meets with the same ordeal.
When will the NIS officials stay content with their pay cheques and stop demanding kickbacks during passports applications? That is a jeremiad for another day.
- Banke Badmus
Ibadan, Oyo State.
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