Journalism in the service of society

Passports to be issued in 72 hours as FG unveils immigration express service

THE Federal Government has expressed its readiness to put an end to seemingly endless wait which often attends issuance of passports by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

To make sure that the agonisingly slow process becomes a thing of the past the government has unveiled the express passport processing centre of the NIS.

The centre, dubbed the “premium passport processing centre”, is expected to cater to Nigerians seeking to obtain their passports within a maximum of 72 hours.

At the unveiling of the centre in Abuja, yesterday, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola said the facility is the first of its kind, adding that other centres will be opened across the country.

He also categorised the offers available, stating that the speed of the passport processing is based on the option selected.

“It is a first of many more to be established and designed to offers specialised services to Nigerians,” Aregbesola said.

“Every Nigerian has the right to a Nigerian passport and it is our responsibility to put it in the hands of anyone desirous of it within the shortest possible time, without stress. The passport should be available in a maximum 72 hours of a successful application.

“Where there are issues, the applicant must be notified within 48 hours. It will also afford Nigerians the opportunity of getting their passports within 24 hours, at the high premium service and 72 hours at the ordinary premium service, albeit with added value and a little bit of extra cost.

“A centre like this is necessary to reduce stress. Secondly, by minimising human contact, it eliminates the prospect of corruption.

“The commencement of the operations of this world-class facility will offer Nigerians services of convenience and pleasure by taking away the hitherto stress in the conventional passport offices.”

On his part, Muhammed Babandede, NIS comptroller-general, promised that the centre will offer “effective and efficient passport services to applicants”.

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