The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Muhammad Babandede, has commended the Access Bank Plc for using its resources to support government agencies in order to improve services being rendered to Nigerians.
Babandede, gave the commendation Wednesday, during a ceremony to hand over an office block at the Ikoyi Passport Office, Lagos State, which was constructed, furnished and donated to the NIS by the Access Bank.
He said the bank deserved commendation because of the sustainable manner it has been partnering with the NIS to enhance its facilities over the years.
The comptroller general said: “We have always had a good relationship with the Access Bank. It is encouraging to find a private enterprise that would use its resources in a good direction and Access Bank has been a big corporate organisation that has made it easier for us to service the public,” adding that the NIS would put the facility donated by the bank into good uses.
He also said the NIS was contributing to improving ease of doing business in Nigeria through its visa on arrival programme that enables foreign investors to visit Nigeria for businesses without hassles.
He also said the NIS has reduced physical contact with passport applicants through its online platform.
In his speech during the commissioning ceremony, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said the facility would not only aid the NIS in the execution of its duties, but also add value to the lives of Nigerians.
Wigwe said: “At Access Bank, we support good things that have national interest, which is the reason we want to identify with what is happening here.
“We recognise the importance of the NIS to national development and we are thankful for the sterling leadership of the agency, which is driving positive reforms policies that will foster the safety of our nation, increase the attractiveness of Nigeria to foreign investors and once again position Nigeria as a strong player in the global economy.
“As an organisation driven by the ethos of sustainability, we take immense pride in our ability to continuously contribute to the effort of the government in providing the requisite infrastructure for parastatals to execute their responsibilities effectively – and each time, we ‘up the ante.”
He recalled that a couple of years ago, the Access Bank donated some office equipment to the NIS’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Command and today, “we will be commissioning an office annex. Indeed, this is one of the many projects Access Bank has done for Nigeria Immigration Service and the fourth commissioning in Ikoyi passport office.”
“This is a symbolic feat as it is testament to our growth as an institution on its way to becoming Africa’s gateway to the world. We are pleased to be making this contribution and I hope that this lays down a pointer to other corporates in the execution of public-private partnerships,” he added.