Metro

Immigration Service statement on ‘shortage’ of passport booklets

Nigerians have been complaining over their inability to get their passport booklets from the Nigeria Immigration Service NIS hence, attributed the circumstance to a shortage of passport booklets in the country.

However, this allegation has been denied by the Nigeria Immigration Service NIS. Putting the record straight, the NIS Public Relations Officer, Mr. Sunday James, while denying the allegation today, Tuesday, said that a large number of applicants at the headquarters was the reason why the process became cumbersome.

An investigation carried out by a News Agency of Nigeria NAN, according to the agency at the NIS headquarters in Abuja, has revealed that applicants were seen waiting to collect their booklets.

“The pressure at the headquarters is what people are amplifying and not that there is any reality.

“The pressure is so enormous. Everybody wants to come to his friend for a passport and the Comptroller-General had insisted that there shouldn’t be friends in this passport business.

“Some Nigerians want it immediately and so they seek the services of touts,” James said.

He has told NAN that the passport was a document of the Federal Government which was to be issued to qualified Nigerians, and as such there was no reason why citizens should not get the booklet.

“If you know you are qualified why should you look for somebody. This is what is causing this problem and they end up entering into the wrong hands. We are discouraging this,” he said.

The NIS PRO noted that the Comptroller-General had directed that every passport office in the country should be supplied with adequate booklets.

“When we have people thronging to the headquarters even with the workforce, you are going to overstretch them talk less of the transitional period where we are talking of migrating to the new passport,” he said.

The spokesman also explained that a lot of machines were being installed and a lot of systems being put in place to ensure that migrating to the new passport was feasible and without stress.

According to NAN reports, the service will begin issuance of the new 10-year enhanced e-passport from April 29.

“The new passport will be integrated with the National Identity Number (NIN)”, which President Muhammadu Buhari had on January 16, officially launched the new e-passport.

The cost of the 32-page five-year standard passport stands at N25, 000, 64-page five-year standard passport, N35,000, while the 64-page 10-year standard passport costs N70,000 and the 32-page five-year official passport is N15,000.

The new passport has enormous advantages which include ten-year validity, and self-tracking application as well as express centres for urgent application.

(NAN)

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