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Nigeria set to digitise, decentralise fresh passport issuance, renewal over delays –Minister

Nigerian Passports

*Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister for Interior assures Nigerians the Federal Government will clear all passport backlogs within two weeks, lamenting the scarcity and delays in fresh passport issuance and renewal have fuelled corruption in the sector

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government of Nigeria has assured the citizens that it will clear all passport backlogs within two weeks, as there is no excuse for passport delay in the West African country.

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Honourable Minister for Interior, gave this update during a live appearance on Channels TV programme Tuesday, September 6, 2023,

Tunji-Ojo said  that “clearing all backlogs shouldn’t take more than two weeks.”

The Minister noted the relative scarcity and delays in fresh passport issuance and renewal before now had fuelled corruption in the sector.

He explained: “After clearing these backlogs, no Nigerian should wait for more than two weeks.”

He also stressed that owning the green passport is a right of every Nigerian and not a privilege.

“It’s a right and not a privilege, Nigerians want that right to be actually theirs, not by somebody offering you your right,” stated he.

Tunji-Ojo equally emphasised that it is not excusable for any Nigerian to be treated with disrespect because of passport application.

The Minister said: “What Nigerians want to see is solutions and that is what the President has constantly told us… No excuses.

“In line with the directive of Mr President, it can no longer be business as usual.

“We have critically analysed all these scenarios – from the point of going online to fill the form to the point of payment, to the point of picking a date, to the point of biometrics, to the point of issuance of passports. And we understand the service providers involved and we have been able to see one or two things to put right.”

He as well disclosed that he is currently in talks with service providers and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to digitise and decentralise the process of fresh passport issuance and renewal.

“We have to digitise and we also have to decentralise the whole enrolment system and make it (possible) for people to walk into the nearest post office, people can walk into may be financial institutions and some many other ways. We are still playing with so many ideas.”

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