In 18 months, 1.9 million passports were issued – FGN
According to the Federal Government, Nigerians received more than N1.9 million worth of passports between January 2021 and June 2022.
According to Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of the Interior, 650,000 booklets were collected by Nigerians as of June 2022, out of a total 1.3 million given in 2021.
There is no longer a shortage of booklets in the nation, according to Aregbesola, who spoke on Tuesday at the launching of the Enhanced Passport Production Center in Port Harcourt.
Aregbesola said that enough pamphlets had been distributed throughout the various centers nationwide in a statement by his media adviser Sola Fasure.
The statement partly read, “We have left no stone unturned in our quest to make passports available to Nigerians. Last year alone, we provided 1.3 million passports to Nigerians. As of today, there is no booklet shortage in Nigeria.
“As of the second quarter of this year (in June), the NIS has provided 645,000 passports out of the 750,000 applications received. To address the challenge of the backlog, we have sent 11,000 booklets to Ikoyi, 11,000 to Alausa and 8,000 to FESTAC centers in Lagos.”
In addition, the minister advised Nigerians to apply online so that they wouldn’t be taken advantage of by dishonest people.
He said, “I will urge applicants for the Nigerian passport to apply early enough before their travel date to avoid cutting corners and falling into the hands of scammers and other opportunists. It is important also that they apply by themselves at the Nigeria Immigration Service portal and not through touts and unscrupulous officials, which often bring heartaches.
“We have provided a window of six weeks and three weeks for fresh application and renewal respectively, after biometric data capture, by which time, other things being equal, the passport will be ready for collection. This timeline is to enable NIS investigate and validate the claims of applicants and confer integrity on the passport issued. It is a reasonable provision in passport administration by global standard. There is no wait-and-get passport service anywhere in the world. The only wait-and-get passport is passport-sized photograph from Polaroid camera,” the Minister stated.
The Minister added that applicants from the states of Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Bayelsa would be served by the Passport Production Center established in the state.
He continued by saying that none of the centers are better or worse off as a result of the center’s launch and that 10,000 booklets have already been sent to the four states to begin serving them.