For long now, we all know that passport processing in Nigeria does seem to take a long time. Many at times it can get rather tidieous and frustrating. And often you have to continously follow it up.
Many will be happy to know that The Federal Government has decided to review the timeline for passport application process in line with the Nigeria Immigration Service. This now has been reduced to six weeks, which is to take effect as from 1st of June, 2021.
The Minister of Interior, by the name Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola announced this last Thursday at a meeting at the Immigration Headquarters, in Abuja.
He also clarified that this would enable one to investigate and ensure the individuals personal information is genuine, which he or she will supply.
It was recalled that the immigration system had dealt with several challenges in the past, such as shortage of booklets, racketeering, and the inflating cost of a passport, that were issued to ineligible persons, and not to mention the COVID-19 problems and many more along side. So these are some among the many issues that are to be addressed and looked it to.
So as the minister said, it is of utmost importance that all these are checked in order to attend and give excellent services to clients.
In acknowledging the issues that need to be tackled, efforts as well were made to prove and correct security operatives. It was mentioned that in all passport offices they would be made to wear body cameras as to detect and apprehend any form of “solicitations, inflation, improper communications, extortion, diversion, hoarding”, and many more corrupt practices.
And if any be caught, they will suffer the consequences of the law.
Most importantly The Minister made it clear that customers and clients interests are very important and are of much concern. Therefore he said that an official will be appointed to investigate individuals who complain against the organization, due to deviation from prescribed guidelines and any form to sabotage the process. No applicant will be made to pay any illegitimate fees.
In conclusion every applicant will have a duration of six weeks to successfully process the details to their passport. Which is the duration obtainable in every other country as stated. And this is also to allow enough time to validate the individuals personal information that he or she supplied.
The Minister finally mentioned that if anything would cause the date to be changed, it will surely be communicated one week before the applicant comes to pick their passport.
Last but not least, all applicants would have to take note that they do not require further discussion with immigration officers other than the fact of processing their passport and exiting the venue.
To this, I believe this is a good way forward and I pray it materializes what it claims. To this, all Nigerians should as well do their best to follow through accordingly.