Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola has said the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) processed and issued 9.31 million passports between 2015 and 2022.
But the minister said last year alone, the NIS processed over 1,899,683 passports, showing a higher demand for the nation’s passport more than at any other time.
Aregbesola spoke during the weekly ministerial briefing, hosted by the Presidential Communication Team at the Presidential Villa yesterday in Abuja.
He attributed the higher demand for Nigerian passport to what the citizens now call the “japa syndrome”.
“It (japa) has a huge impact. There is a heavy demand on passport issuance. And if you look at the trend, it is more in the South than in the North. And we are responding to it.
“I have told you that we issued 1,899,683 passports last year. That’s a clear indication of the fact that there’s a heavy demand on passports issuance,” Aregbesola said.
Also, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry who accompanied the minister to the briefing, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, said a total of 159 Nigerians renounced their citizenship in 2022.
According to Belgore, 150 Nigerians had renounced their citizenships between 2006 and 2021.
“We spoke earlier about those who are conferred with Nigerian citizenship by Mr. President. Last November, we had a total number of 286 new Nigerians out of which 208 were by naturalisation, while 78 others were by registration, meaning spouses of Nigerian citizens who have now become Nigerians.
“However, going further, the Advisory Committee on Nigerian Citizenship will sit on February 7 to consider another set of 350 applications for naturalisation, after which the successful applications will be sent to Mr. President in Council for approval.
“Now, down to those Nigerians who renounced their citizenship. So far, we have registered a total of 309. Between 2006 and 2021, 150 Nigerians renounced their citizenship. In 2022 alone, 159 Nigerians renounced their citizenship,” he said.
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