Int’l passport: At last, NIS opens up, reveals when scarcity will end

January 2, 2022
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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has revealed the agency’s plans to end the scarcity of passport in the country by March, 2022.

Comptroller-General of NIS Isa Idris, stated this at the weekend while briefing journalists on the ongoing reforms at the agency.

He said COVID-19, lack of forex and economic meltdown were responsible for the experienced shortfall of the international passport production. 

According to him, efforts were being made towards addressing the problem with the launch of an enhanced e-passport, embedded with more and improved features.

He said apart from the United Kingdom where it was launched, the Service through the support of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has inaugurated such centres in Kano, Port Harcourt and Ibadan.

He said: “Just Friday, we received a total of 45,000 booklets towards clearing the backlogs and in December alone, we received more than 100,000 booklets which we have continued to distribute across the passport centres nationwide. This is not just for Nigerians in Nigeria alone but for those in the Diaspora as well.

But with the introduction of the enhanced e-Passport, we are good to go in our efforts towards addressing the scarcity. This enhanced e-passport is a great improvement on the biometric passport technology which we adopted as a country in 2007. It is a strategic step towards curbing forgery, impersonation and other forms of fraud associated with obtaining travel documents under the old Machine Readable Passport regime.”

He tasked Nigerians to support the agency and avail themselves with the use of technology as a means of ending sharp practices in the Service. 

“And because we know that technology helps to address some of our challenges, including corruption, we have continued to try to stop personal contacts with our officials. My predecessor started to break the jinx and we are continuing on that. We plead with applicants to apply only online and stop physical contacts with our officers to avert corrupt practices.”

He further charged them to stop engaging in last-minute application rush saying that, application for renewal can be done six months to the expiration of  passports.

He said there is nowhere in the world where passports are produced in 24 hours except in emergency situations.

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