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Digital Economy: Nigeria set to automate passport applications –Minister

Photo Collage of Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister for Interior and Nigerian Passports

*Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister for Interior, assures Nigerian consumers that the passport application automation process should go live in about a week’s time for only biometrics and fingerprints to complete the process

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In consonance with the Nigeria Digital Economy agenda, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Honourable Minister for Interior, has disclosed the promised automation of the passport application process will begin “in the next one week”.

ConsumerConnect had reported Hon. Tunji-Ojo had earlier assured Nigerian passport applicants during an interview, that citizens would be able to use the feature from December 2023.

Speaking on the latest development on the automation process Tuesday, November 28 in a follow-up appearance a Channels TV programme, the Minister stated that the technology was “99 percent done”.

Tunji-Ojo also commented: “In fact, we’ve done the testing and we should be going live in the next one week or thereabout. As I said, that will ensure that Nigerians, all they need to do in an immigration centre, a passport centre, is just biometrics, just to take your fingerprints, that’s all,” he said.

The Minister also noted that Nigerians can complete their passport applications from the comfort of their homes.

According to him, this would include uploading passport photos and their supporting documents.

He further stated: “We have gone beyond that. In fact, we’ve gone through it. We would have gone live about two weeks ago but I saw some errors when they came to do a presentation and I said, ‘You know this cannot be this.’

“We’re talking about balancing national security as well as convenience. There must be a middle point.

“You cannot bring discomfort on the basis of enhancement of security. You must find a meeting point of both security and comfort.”

Tunji-Ojo restated his earlier promise that by February 2024, all Nigerian international airports would have e-gates.

The Minister explained: “Once you’re Nigerian and you’re coming to Nigeria, you will have no business seeing an immigration officer, except if you’re a person of interest.”

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