The federal government says the full digitization of passport processing would be completed by December 2022.
According to NAN, Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, made this known while speaking on Saturday in Abuja.
He said complete digitization would eliminate any form of contact between passport applicants and immigration officers, as well as reduce corruption in the system.
“We are on it, and by December we will remove any manual processing of passports,” the minister said.
“Now, we still have some manual parts, because files are still manually opened.
“By December, particularly in the busiest passport processing centers, there will be no manual segment of the passport processing, every part of it will be digitized.”
Aregbesola urged Nigerians to begin applying for their passports at least six months before the scheduled time of travel.
“If you need a passport now, start the process very early, do not begin the processing efforts two weeks before your traveling,” he said.
“If you don’t, already you have created problems for yourself, because the system, after capturing, which is the enrollment of your data, harmonizes it with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) database.
“Every identity document must be the same to ease capturing.
“You must understand what it is. It is a presidential order that the new passport regime should be such that all data and everything about you as an individual must be the same and harmonized.
“What you have in the passport, which is the most secure identity document, must be the same with every other aspect of you, whether in the bank or at the national identity database.
“When you come to us to register, after filling your form online, you come for data capturing, and what you do there is to harmonize what you have filed in your form and your bio-data as we advance.
“So when your name doesn’t tally with what we have, your data information is not the same on the relevant platforms, we will have some challenges with passport processing.”