By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The Nigerian Government has launched an automated online portal for passport application in Abuja, the first of its kind, aiming to expedite passport acquisition for international and Nigerian applicants, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said on Monday.
The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo had earlier carried out a live demonstration of the process, where he also unveiled the functionality of the new system to stakeholders from across the country, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said in a statement on Monday.
The Minister at the technical session noted that the new reform seeks to redefine how citizens enrol and procure the international passport in line with the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
It is targeted at enhancing convenience, reduced processing time, and an overall seamless experience in line with a promise made by the Minister in December. Tunji-Ojo also assured the public that this new solution will enhance national security and data protection.
He said: “With the new solution, application, processing, review, and approval will all be done online. On knowledge transfer, we have trained our officers to assume the new roles.
“With what we have done now, we have reduced the process of requesting for a passport to about six minutes. This does not require anybody to visit the immigration office and it will reduce the pressure on the immigration officers.
“As I speak, we have made arrangements for power and internet service providers to ensure at least 99.9% uptime. By February, Nigerians in the diaspora can have this same experience.”
Nigerian applicants who want 32-page passports with five-year validity would pay N25,000, while those who want 64-page passports with a 10-year validity would pay N70,000.
Similarly, foreign applicants, who wish to apply for passports with a five-year validity period and 32 pages, will pay $130, while those who prefer passports with a 10-year validity period and 64 pages will pay $230.
Candidates are to submit their applications at https://passport.immigration.gov.ng.
On identity theft, the Minister disclosed that the Service has also achieved its objective of harmonization of data through its technical handshake with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Speaking on the readiness of the system and the men of the Service, the Comptroller General of NIS, Mrs Adepoju Carol Wura-Ola, stated that the new process was a result of hardwork and determination of the Service.
She said: “What you’re seeing today is the product of dedication and motivation to see that an end comes to the stress, pains, and hardship that Nigerians go through to procure the international passport both at home and in the diaspora.
“We are motivated to stamp out corruption. That the Green Passport is restored to its place of pride. The Minister, Hon. Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has challenged the Service, and has provided resources and technical know-how.”