The Federal Government has said that there will be a turn around in the entire application process for international passport by Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to Six weeks.
The reason behind this is to ensure seamless, transparent, plus give human dignity to applicants and fulfill citizenship integrity, in line with the mandate of the Ministry of Interior. The Nigerian Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola said this on Thursday 22nd April at a meeting with the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammad Babandede, Passport Officers, plus the attaches for Nigeria Missions abroad, for the Immigration Headquarters, Sauka, Abuja.
The Minister also said, “There has been a lot of challenges in the past, that includes shortage of booklets, touting, racketeering, increasing the cost, passports being issued to ineligible persons, among others. It has now become very important to review our operations and rearrange our system, to be able to offer excellent services to our clients.
“Below are the new changes that has been made to issue Nigerian passport – Special centers shall be created for quick services. And these special centers will have to run on public-private partnership basis. This development has already started in Abuja and it has been assured that 10 more centers will be opened in few weeks. There shall be a fixed timeline for every application, like collection date. It shall be within six weeks, comparable to what other countries do and this is to give enough time to investigate and validate personal information supplied by the applicants. They mentioned that, if in case there be more changes, it shall be communicated to the applicants, one week before the collection date. They added that applicants won’t get basis for further communication with officers, other than to complete their application process and leave the venue. The date for the collection of passports or any challenges of application shall be communicated to the applicant. The immigration service also said that it will publish the list of the backlog of applications that is ready and the owners are yet to collect. I was instructed that applicants will go to the State commands to collect them.
With this changes so far, Aregbesola said he believes that Nigeria Immigration will arrive at a new dawn, he also called for the support of passport officers.