The Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Caroline Adepoju, has said that the service would open more passport service points to meet the needs of Nigerians in the Diaspora.
Adepoju said in an interview with the Newsmen in Abuja that efforts were also on to ease passport processing in the country.
“I have it on good authority that in the UK, we have over four million Nigerians and this number increases everyday because of the “Japa syndrome”; families that relocated, students, and those in search of greener pastures and jobs.
“So all hands are on deck to ensure that we create more service points in the UK, Canada and in the USA.
”We listen to the plight of our nationals, we hear their cries and we are working hard and by the grace of God, we will get there,” she said.
Adepoju said that the service had opened three additional passport processing centres in Nigeria located at Ikorodu, Offa and Ile-Oluji to ease demands on passport centres in Lagos, Kwara and Ondo states.
“More are coming, we are going to Ibadan, Badagry, we will look everywhere we have high volume of applications.
“I want Nigerians to continue to support me, understand and be aware that they owe us the duty of ensuring that they apply for their passports when it is about six months before the expiry date, that will ease the pressure on them and the system.
“And Nigerians should stop patronising touts. Nigerians can apply for International Passport online and can make payment and book appointments online.
“Very soon, we are looking at making everything digital so that there would be minimal human interference,” the NIS CG said.
She also appealed to those in the diaspora whose passports were tied to their stay and status abroad, to always be conscious of the need to renew their passports on time.
Adepoju attributed delays being experienced in passport issuance to technical issues like non alignment of applicant’s data with their National Identity Number (NIN), which must be rectified by the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC).