The federal government says the passport application processing period from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) will currently take fourteen days.
Rauf Aregebesola, minister of interior, stated this will be to ensure a smooth, clear operation, also as”accord human dignity to applicants and fulfil citizenship ethics in accord with the mandate of the ministry”.
According to a statement by Towoju Raphael, senior information officer in the ministry of interior, Aregbesola said it is now imperative to examine the ministry’s operations and rejig its method in order to offer excellent services to clients.
“A timeline is going to be fixed for every program i.e., a collection date. This will be six months, akin to what obtains in other nations,” Aregbesola said.
“This is to permit sufficient time to investigate and confirm personal information supplied by the applicants.
“What we’re driving at is your reassurance that comes in the assurance of certainty. Whether there are conditions that will make the date change, it is going to be communicated to the applicant one week prior to the collection date.
“Applicants will have no foundation for further communicating with officers, other than to finish their application process and leave the venue. The date for the collection of their passports or some other challenge to the program will be communicated to them. The technologies for the efficient functioning of this system was obtained and will be deployed.”
The minister added that the NIS will print a listing of the backlog of applications that are ready, which have yet to be collected by the owners.
“They will probably be asked to go to the state commands to accumulate them,” he added.
Aregbesola also said attempts are on to embed security operatives equally”seen and unseen” in most passport offices.
“They will wear body cameras. They’ll discover and report any sort of solicitations, inflation, improper communications, extortion, diversion, hoarding and other corrupt practices. Those caught will be managed according to this law.”
The minister said an ombudsman will also be created for members of the public to get complaints and reports on officers trying to deviate from prescribed recommendations and subversion of the procedure.
“Therefore, I am declaring a zero-tolerance stance to all forms of touting. No candidate is going to be forced to pay any illegitimate fees,” he explained.
In March, the federal government had introduced the express passport processing centre of the NIS.
The centre, dubbed the”premium passport processing centre”, is expected to appeal to Nigerians seeking to receive their passports within a maximum of 72 hours.