Passport backlogs to be cleared in two weeks-Minister
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, says clearing all passport backlogs shouldn’t take more than two weeks, adding that there is no excuse for passport delay in Nigeria.
Tunji-Ojo made this known during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today program on Tuesday.
He also said “Clearing all backlogs shouldn’t take more than two weeks”, adding that the scarcity and delay around fresh passport issuance and renewal fuelled corruption in the sector.
“After clearing these backlogs, no Nigerian should wait for more than two weeks,” he stressed.
The minister said owning the green passport is a right of every Nigerian and not a privilege.
He said, “It’s a right and not a privilege, Nigerians want that right to be actually theirs, not by somebody offering you your right.”
According to him, it is not excusable for any Nigerian to be treated with disrespect because of passport application.
“What Nigerians want to see is solutions and that is what the President has constantly told us… No excuses.
“In line with the directive of Mr. President, it can no longer be business as usual. We have critically analyzed all these scenarios – from the point of going online to fill the form to the point of payment, to the point of picking a date, to the point of biometrics, to the point of issuance of passports. And we understand the service providers involved and we have been able to see one or two things to put right,” he said.
Tunji-Ojo also said he is in talks with service providers and the Nigeria Immigration Service to digitize and decentralize the process of fresh passport issuance and renewal.
“We have to digitize and we also have to decentralize the whole enrolment system and make it (possible) for people to walk into the nearest post office, people can walk into maybe financial institutions and some many other ways. We are still playing with so many ideas,” he said.