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FG set to introduce online tracking system for passport application

THE Federal government launched an online system for tracking and monitoring passport applicants in May.

Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior, stated this at the start of a two-day session for Nigeria Immigration Service Passport Control Officers in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to Aregbesola, the Federal Government has finalized preparations to deploy a system that will allow passport applicants and immigration agents to contact as little as possible.

Apart from the National Identity Number verification and linkage, the minister stated that there should be no other main reason for the passport delays.

“Not later than a month from today, applicants will be able to track their application online to know precisely what stage is your application. You will not have the hassle of people coming. Just go online with your reference number to check and it will state whether you are having a NIN problem.

“It will tell you the status of your application. It will tell you whether your passport is ready and you can pick it. This will be a month from now by the Grace of God,” he added.

He stated that the wait time for new passports should not exceed six weeks, and that the wait time for passport renewals should not exceed three weeks.

The minister added, “We have adopted a maximum processing period of six weeks. It can be less but it should not be more. If it is more, let it be rare, let it be caused by an external factor, not you. To obtain fresh passports, it should be a maximum of three weeks. It can be less for the renewal.”

Aregbesola cautioned immigration agents against harsh treatment of passport applicants while also advising them to treat them like consumers.

He revealed that the President Buhari, had approved the full deployment of technology and that significant improvements will be implemented before the end of the year.

“Very soon, you will not see any passport applicants. Very soon there will be no files. Technology has provided so much succour for whoever wants to be efficient. That will be before the end of this year. Passport processing will be absolutely digitised. As it is impossible to see the air, it will be impossible for anybody to even know which passport is going where. It will just be in the system.

“We will get to a stage where no passport applicant will meet any immigration officer in the process of processing passports and there will be no manual documentation of that process,” the minister added.

The Assistant-Comptroller-General in Charge of Passports and Other Travels Directorates, NIS, Modupe Anyalechi, spoke on the theme of “Effective and Efficient Service Delivery: An Imperative for Maximizing the Gains of Passport Reforms Towards a Seamless Passport Issuance.”

She stated that the goal was to make the passport issuance process as painless as possible without jeopardizing the security of the travel document.

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