Nigeria assures citizens abroad can renew passports on arrival

*Isah Idris, Comptroller General of Immigration, affirms all airlines and Nigerian diplomatic missions abroad have been informed to allow holders of expired Nigerian passports to board airplanes without any hindrance

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In line with the ongoing implementation of passport administration and immigration service reforms in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) have activated a special fast-track service that will enable Nigerians in the Diaspora with expired passports to return home without hindrance.

ConsumerConnect reports Isah Idris, Comptroller General of Immigration, stated this in a circular dated December 9, 2022, forwarded to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, all Heads of Foreign Missions, all Immigration Attaches, all Airport Comptrollers and all airlines.

Idris said that the special arrangement was approved by the Federal Government.

The NIS Chief also noted that all airlines in Nigeria were requested to allow holders of expired Nigerian passports to board planes without any hindrance.

He equally stated that all Nigerian diplomatic missions abroad were also requested to circulate the same information to airline operators and border authorities of their host countries for compliance.

Anthony Akuneme, Public Relations Officer of NIS, in a statement issued Thursday, December 15, 2022, also explained that the service window, which will be available for two months, would give the returnee Nigerians an opportunity to renew their passports during their stay in the country.

Akuneme said: “Dedicated Diaspora desks had been set up at all international airports across the country to ensure Nigerians returning home from abroad have hassle-free passage.

The image maker of the Service stated: “The ongoing dedicated Diasporan service available from December 12, 2022, to January 31, 2023, allows Nigerian passport holders in the Diaspora to board their countries of residence and be admitted into Nigeria with their expired international passports.

“The Comptroller General of Immigration had also directed Passport Control Offices to accord priority to the returnees and their families bearing in mind that most of them have a specific time they must return to their countries of residence after their holiday in Nigeria.”

The Deputy Comptroller of Immigration further stated that applicants for the new enhanced Nigerian e-Passport whose biometrics had been captured at the NIS offices in the Nigerian missions in their respective countries of residence did not need to start a fresh application.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) commended the NIS Comptroller General for launching a dedicated service to meet the needs of fellow Nigerians returning home from overseas countries.

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