The Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) collaboration with foreign embassies in Nigeria has helped to reduce the incidence of visa scams through sustained arrests and issuance of Advisories.
The ICPC Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta made this known on Wednesday when the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. A.R. Ghanashyam paid him a courtesy in his office in Abuja.
Mr. Nta stated that ICPC had in the last one year arrested 32 persons for Visa related offences pertaining to the Indian High Commission. Thirteen of them have been charged to court in Abuja & Lagos.
He further explained that ICPC commenced investigations of Visa Scam two years ago following an invitation from the United States Embassy. The successful investigations generated similar invitations from other embassies.
Mr Nta said ICPC was also collaborating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Banks on the issue, adding that some Civil Servants found to have been involved in the Visa scams had been charged to Court.
According to him, “We are going to organize a public sensitization workshop and we will invite all embassies and trading communities to educate them on the issues involved in securing travel documents”.
The ICPC boss said that in the course of investigations 325 international passports were seized from various Visa agents. He therefore called on Nigerians whose passports were seized to come to ICPC and collect them.
In other to enhance good business ethics Mr Nta informed the High Commissioner that ICPC had, in collaboration with relevant Stakeholders, prepared a draft National Policy on Integrity and Ethics which “is being vetted by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation”.
Earlier, the India High Commissioner, Mr. Ghanashyam while commending ICPC for helping his High Commission in the challenges over Visa scams stated that they had recently introduced online application so that applicants would no longer need to go through third Parties to apply for Indian Visa henceforth.
He advised that applicants intending to go to India for medical, business and educational reasons to be factual and seek consular assistance when in doubt.
Mr. Ghanashyam said that both India and Nigeria had a lot of similarity in culture, noting that Nigeria” is the largest trading partner in Africa.”
Resident Consultant (Media&Event)