Minister gives NIS two weeks to resolve the backlog in passport applications


The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has instructed the contractors working with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure that passport application backlogs are cleared “within the next two weeks”.

The minister gave the order during a meeting with the Acting Comptroller-General of NIS, Caroline Adepoju, yesterday in Abuja. The meeting was also attended by Managing-Director, Iris Smart Technologies, Yinka Fisher, the firm in charge of the production of Nigerian passport booklets.

The minister said that by issuing the order, he was keeping his promise to remove all obstacles to obtaining a Nigerian passport and other immigration documents.

“Delays in the processing and enrolment of passports has been a source of frustration for citizens, causing significant delays in obtaining crucial travel documents.

“Having to deal with about 200,000 backlogs calls for national emergency. As far as I am concerned, the issue of passport is a national emergency; I keep getting emails daily from Nigerians complaining. We cannot continue like this. It has become an embarrassment to President Bola Tinubu. I represent him here as your minister.

“That embarrassment is mine now. I am not changing my words. I need the backlog cleared in two weeks. I get daily report on enrolment from NIS on my phone. This is my best way to be in the know of the situation. Nigerians deserve the best.

“It is their right to own a passport if they can afford it. We will also ensure that our debts are cleared by November. My position remains that the delay in the process of obtaining the passport must end,” he stressed.

Adepoju and Fisher promised the minister during their statements that all required resources and actions would be used to reduce the backlog of passport applications.

Adepoju pointed out that despite the fact that enrollment as of yesterday exceeded 200,000 nationwide, NIS has acquired adequate textbooks to eliminate the backlog.

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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