Why Nigeria Immigration embargoes capturing, issuance of passports

*Following the Nigeria Immigration Service’s announcement to place an embargo on fresh applications, all passports in control offices are closed for applicants from Tuesday, May 18 till May 31, 2021

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In a strategic move to clear its backlogs of existing applications, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has placed an embargo on capturing and issuance of new passports to applicants from May 18 to May 31, 2021.

Muhammed Babandede, Comptroller-General of Immigration, who disclosed this development at a media briefing Tuesday, May 18 in Abuja, FCT, stated that the regulatory agency’s decision is to enable the Service to clear its backlogs.

Babandede noted that the NIS would no longer collect fresh applications for passports until the backlogs are sorted and produced.

The NIS revealed the breakdown of the current backlogs as local 71, 644; enhanced 46,814; and foreign 17,906 respectively.

ConsumerConnect reports that following the announcement of the embargo on fresh applications, therefore, all passports in control offices are closed for applicants from Tuesday till May 31.

Muhammed Babandede, Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service

Payments for passports will be online when the portal is opened which will be June, said the Comptroller-General of Immigration.

Recall Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Honourable Minister for Interior, earlier had given a six-week timeline for passport collection.

The Minister said this would be six weeks meant to allow for enough time to investigate, verify, and validate personal information supplied by the passport applicants.

Ogbeni Aregbesola stated: “What we are driving at is the peace of mind that comes from the assurance of certainty.

“If there are circumstances that will make the date to change, it will be communicated to the applicant one week before the collection date.”

According to him, applicants will have no basis for further communication with officers, other than to complete their application process and leave the venue.

The date for the collection of their passports or any challenge to the application will be communicated to them, said the Minister.

Aregbesola added: “The technology for the efficient running of this system has been acquired and will be deployed.

“We are publishing on our website the list of the backlog of passports that are ready which are yet to be collected by the owners. They will be required to go to the state commands to collect them.

“With these changes, it is my firm belief that we will arrive at a new dawn in passport application processing”, the minister added.

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