• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Minister promises to clear passport backlogs within two weeks

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Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior, stated that clearing up the passport backlog in Nigeria should be completed within two weeks at most. He stressed that there should be no reason for passport delays in the country.

Tunji-Ojo shared this information during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today show on Tuesday.

He also emphasised, “Clearing all backlogs shouldn’t take more than two weeks,” and he further noted that the scarcity and delays in issuing new passports and renewals were contributing to corruption within the sector.

“After clearing these backlogs, no Nigerian should wait for more than two weeks,” he said.

Read also: Passport: Nigerians share frustrating experiences at immigration offices

The minister stated that possessing the green passport is a fundamental right of every Nigerian, not a privilege.

He said, “It’s a right and not a privilege; Nigerians want that right to be actually theirs, not by somebody offering you your right.”

He pointed out that it is unacceptable for any Nigerian to face disrespect due to their passport application.

“What Nigerians want to see is solutions, and that is what the President has constantly told us… No excuses.

“In line with the directive of Mr. President, it can no longer be business as usual. We have critically analysed all these scenarios, from the point of going online to fill out the form to the point of payment, to the point of picking a date, to the point of biometrics, to the point of issuance of passports. And we understand the service providers involved, and we have been able to see one or two things to put right,” he said.

Read also: How to make Nigerian passport stronger; Peter Obi

Tunji-Ojo also mentioned that he is engaged in discussions with service providers and the Nigeria Immigration Service to modernise and distribute the process of obtaining new passports and renewals.

“We have to digitise, and we also have to decentralise the whole enrolment system and make it possible for people to walk into the nearest post office. People can walk into may be financial institutions, and some many other ways. We are still playing with so many ideas,” he said.