The Rivers State Government has welcomed the decision to open a second Passport office in the State.
The State Chief Executive, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike stated this during a courtesy visit by the Controller General, Nigerian Immigration Service Muhammed Babandede at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
The Governor who spoke through his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo said he is delighted with the plans to set up a second passport office in the State because Rivers State is safe, secure and hosts a lot of multinational companies who do business here, stating that “businesses thrives here.”
Governor Wike who said he is happy that the Controller General is in the State to graduate officers from the Immigration Academy in Ahoada, Rivers State, implored the Controller General to consider giving slots to Rivers Youths who are interested in joining the Service.
He commended the Nigerian Immigration Service for fighting to stem the rising tide of human trafficking which has attracted some evil minded people recently because of purported monetary gains accruable from it said “it is as bad if not more heinous than drug peddling and gun running”.
According to the Governor, “women and children are the most vulnerable in this crime against humanity because children are trafficked for child labour while the women are used for forced prostitution to us as a Government human trafficking is totally obnoxious and we must fight it with all we have got”.
Governor Wike said part of the New Rivers Vision is to partner with the Immigration Services and other sister Security Agencies to provide a round the clock security for residents in the State to ensure that they maintain and grow their businesses “Security is the main stay of development and we are very serious about it” he said.
The Governor said the State Government under his watch will continue to promote the ease of doing business to attract further development. According to him the hiccups hitherto experienced in the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy are now over, stressing that within weeks one could now have a Certificate of Occupancy, while the Board of Internal Revenue has been repositioned to be a one stop shop to handle tax matters.
Earlier the Controller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service Muhammed Babandede who commended Governor Wike for the massive infrastructural development in the State expressed the need to set up a second Passport Office to ease the congestion experienced in the Port Harcourt Passport Office.
The Controller General who said he was also in the State to witness the graduation ceremony of students of the immigration Academy in Ahoada thanked the Governor for his support to the Security Forces in the State.
Reported by Owupele Benebo, Head of Press Unit, Deputy Governor’s Office Port Harcourt.