Immigration: Passports waiting for collection in Nigeria records 250,000
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has lamented the unwillingness of some Nigerians to collect their international passports, saying no fewer than 250,000 such documents remained uncollected.
Nigeria Immigration service has issued 250,000 Nigeria passport that are waiting for collection in different locations.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said this in Enugu at the unveiling of the enhanced electronic passport facility and commissioning of the passport production centre at the Enugu passport office. While many Nigerians had in recent time complained about their inability to procure the travel document, the minister said that, “the last time I checked, over 250,000 passports remained uncollected by applicants. Their owners will probably be among those complaining that they are yet to receive their passports.
“Nevertheless, many applicants are not going to have their passports because of the errors in their applications, which delayed processing. They may not know because they applied through touts and other illegal channels,” he explained. The passport production centre, inaugurated three months after the commissioning of that of the Southwest in Ibadan, is to serve the entire Southeastern Nigeria. Aregbesola added that the federal government was working to phase out the old electronic passports, stating that its issuance in the Southeast stopped on Thursday 3rd March 2022. He said the introduction of the enhanced electronic passports was to eradicate scams, racketeering and all other forms of corruption in the application process of the document. While warning Nigerians not to patronise touts and Nigeria Immigration Service officials, he said that all transactions must be done online.
On his part, the acting Comptroller General of NIS, Isah Jere Idris, said the new enhanced electronic passport is of a polycarbonate technology with additional 25 security features over the old electronic passport. According him, Nigeria is the first country in Africa to migrate to the enhanced electronic type of passport. He said, “it is the latest passport technology. It is difficult to forge as the improved security features will make any attempt not only impossible but also easily noticeable”. The enhanced electronic passport comes in three categories; the 32-page five-year validity, the 64-page five-year validity and the 64-page 10-year validity.