FG Okays Two- week Deadline for Passport Issuance

The Federal Government has fixed two-week deadline for the processing and issuance of international passports.
This followed the earlier directive to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on the need to clear more than 204,000 backlog of passport applications.
Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo stated on Wednesday in Abuja, while briefing newsmen that the era when Nigerians waited for months to obtain their passports was over.
Tunji-Ojo apologised to Nigerians over the delay in the clearance of the backlog that had spilled into three weeks, as against the two weeks deadline.
He commended officers and men of the NIS for their hardwork, just as he encouraged them to work round-the-clock, including on public holidays and weekends to achieve the directive.
The minister said though the procurement of visas was a privilege, that acquisition of a passport is the right of every Nigerian.
He hinted that after strategic meetings with NIS officials and service providers, the service increased the printing machines in passport offices from two to four at no cost.
“The NIS personnel were running three shifts, working round-the-clock to ensure that the backlogs were cleared and to ensure that never again will the issue of backlog resurface.
“As of October 1, we had cleared all the 204,332 backlog and from records produced by the NIS, passports already collected were 91,981. Outstanding but available passports were 112,351 passports,’’ he said.
The minister pleaded with Nigerians to endeavour to collect their passports, advising that no Nigerian should give money to a third party to process passport applications irrespective of the circumstance.
“If there is any passport office where you have done your biometrics and they did not give you your passport, please complain through telephone number 0802 375 3414, preferably SMS and Whatsapp or email aa-ajiboye@yahoo.com.
“The attitude of a very negligible fraction of NIS officers will not cast aspersions on the work of the majority of good officers,’’ he added.
Tunji-Ojo assured that in few months time, applicants would upload their passport photographs via NIS portal, rather than visiting passport offices for such registration.
He informed that applicants would only be required to visit the passport offices for their biometrics enrolment.
The minister added that in the new system, the passport office should be able to process more than 400 applications daily, a departure from the past.

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