…processed passports to be delivered to owners in 2 weeks

The Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, on Wednesday, said Nigerians applying for international passports would soon have the option to upload their passport photographs and supporting documents online, eliminating the need for in-person visits to offices of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS.

The Minister added that Nigerians would, by December this year, have unrestricted access to upload their documents online, while also assuring that courier service for passport delivery will begin very soon.

Tunji-Ojo, who disclosed this during a press briefing in Abuja while updating Nigerians on the state of passport backlog in the country, further revealed that no Nigerian will have to wait for more than two weeks to get an international passport henceforth.

He therefore urged the media to play its role by informing the public on the new seamless process, stressing that the government is working on cutting down on cost of travel for applicants.

He said, “No one will ever wait for two weeks to get passports again. If you apply and have been captured, you will get your passport within two weeks. The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has cleared all the 204,332 passport application backlogs.

“By December this year, people will not need to go to the passport office to capture. People will be able to upload their passport photographs and supporting documents online with specifications. That will save time of going to passport offices. Only biometrics will be taken at the passport office, which will be done under five minutes.

“We are introducing passport front offices where people can go and process their passport close to where they reside. Solution providers have been given three months to activate this or their contracts will be revoked.

“We are working on cutting down on cost of travel for applicants. Not just the cost of travel, but also the risk involved. Courier service for passport delivery is on its way. Nigerians will soon be able to receive passports at their doorstep.

“People have asked for an alternative fast track option. For me, a fast track route should not deprive ordinary Nigerians to benefit from a working Nigeria. Our goal is to see how everyone can be processed and get their passports in a two-week window.

“The Nigeria experience is here. We want it to be seamless and sweet. We are coming with new innovations. Nigerians don’t have to “waste” a whole day to capture for their international passports.

However, the Minister urged Nigerians not to bribe any government official for passports, adding: “Any officer demanding for tips should be reported. We will take it up.”

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