The Federal Government yesterday said the process of issuing the Nigerian passport will be fully digitalised before the end of this year, to check business as usual in the processing of applications.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said this yesterday during the commencement of a two-day capacity-building workshop organized for passport control officers (PCOs) from across the country and foreign offices.
The workshop is to ensure effective and efficient service delivery to maximize the gains of the government’s passport reforms.
He said the decision will completely cut off any form of contact between applicants and immigration officers, which gives rise to corruption in the process.
Aregbesola also informed that the maximum period for fresh passport applications is now six weeks, while passport renewal would no longer be more than three weeks.
He said the game is over for immigration officers who engage in passport racketeering, as the Ministry has concluded plans to fully digitise the passport issuance process.
The decision will completely cut off any form of contact between applicants and immigration officers, which gives rise to corruption in the process.
The Minister further disclosed that in the next one month, Nigerians would be able to track their application process online through the passport portal, to reduce unnecessary congestion being witnessed at the passport offices across the country.
He disclosed that from 2019 to date, three million passports have been processed despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He however noted that there were still 250 passports unclaimed at the various passport issuance offices across Nigeria, adding that 80% of the unclaimed passports are at the Ikoyi passport station.
He enjoined the PCOs to ensure they maintain discipline and integrity at all times as well as treat Nigerians seeking passports with dignity.