Immigration boss declares State of Emergency over passport crisis

Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service NIS, Caroline Wura-Ola Adepoju, has announced a state of emergency on Passport issues in the country.

The immigration boss made the declaration during her working visit to Lagos.

In a statement on Thursday by the NIS spokesperson, Tony Akuneme, she emphasised the urgent need to address the challenges faced by Nigerians in obtaining passports and declared a comprehensive plan of action to tackle these issues effectively.

“The Ag. CGI’s visit to Lagos encompassed significant events that underscored the gravity of the Passport crisis,” Akuneme disclosed in the statement.

“She inaugurated a state-of-the-art Visa on Arrival Lounge at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, demonstrating her commitment to improving the overall travel experience for visitors entering Nigeria.

“Following this, she paid an unscheduled visit to the Alausa Passport office to assess the situation firsthand.

“In her address, Ag. CGI Adepoju emphasized the necessity to dismantle all man-made bottlenecks that impede the Passport application process.

“She further stressed that the NIS top management is fully committed to addressing institutional and technology-based drawbacks to ensure a more efficient and streamlined service delivery.”

Akuneme said recognizing the importance of collaboration and community engagement, the Ag. CGI embarked on a grassroots sensitization initiative targeting traditional rulers.

She thereafter commenced this effort with a visit to the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, seeking the cooperation of traditional rulers in raising awareness about the menace of human trafficking and initiating joint efforts to combat this grave issue.

According to Akuneme, the state of emergency declaration on Passport issues signifies the renewed commitment of the NIS to resolving the challenges faced by Nigerians seeking to obtain passports.

He also said that it represents a call to action for all stakeholders to prioritize efficiency, transparency, and excellence in service delivery.

“Ag. CGI Adepoju had earlier directed all Passport Control Officers, relevant units and personnel within the NIS including our Missions abroad, to work tirelessly towards eliminating all hindrances preventing Nigerians from accessing Passports promptly,” the NIS spokesman stated.

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