Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior, spoke about how upcoming changes will make it easier for Nigerians to update their passport details online.
Addressing members of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu media team, Tunji-Ojo expressed deep concern about the hardship imposed on newly-wedded women, describing the requirement to travel to Abuja for data updates as “inhumane and absurd.”
“There is one stupid thing I have seen and it is that a woman gets married, changes her name, and then she has to come to Abuja from say Kaura Namoda or Enugu just to come and effect a change of name in her passport. It is absurd,” he said.
“I can’t just figure it that you want to change just your name and you have to be in Abuja.
“I have asked the immigration people, if is it that immigration people in Abuja have more than one head than those in the states.
“With the new reforms, you don’t need to travel to Abuja to change your data. Everything will be online.
“From March, once you have ever enrolled for your passport and you are coming to renew, please don’t come to my office, stay in your house and do it.
“We have contactless biometrics, and this can be done in five minutes. We don’t need to keep taking your biometrics every five years. Who does that in the world?”
Earlier that the same day, the minister confirmed the imminent commencement of complete passport application automation on January 8.
“We are good to go live. We are starting the training, and on January 8, the solution will be live and direct for Nigerians,” he affirmed.
“We have been able to reduce human contact in passport acquisition to the minimum.”