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FG introduces 24-hour passport issuance process

By Idowu Abdullahi

As part of measures aimed at minimising human contact and eliminates corruption prospects, the Federal Government has begun a 24-hour passport issuance process after commissioning Nigeria Immigration Service Passport Express Centre, Maitama Abuja.

It explained that the process was established and designed to offer specialized services to Nigerians desirous having the Nigerian passport within the shortest possible time without stress.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said that the centre which was established in partnership with the private sector would offer value-added service to all Nigerians, irrespective of their status; socially, politically and economically.

Speaking after commissioning the centre on Tuesday, the minister, who was also former Osun State governor, noted that the process was in line with international best practice and in conformity with Executive Order 1 on the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

According to him, this implies that the centre will serve the passport needs of Nigerians who may be desirous of Premium services and also generate employment opportunities for Nigerians.

Aregbesola said that the service was also in response to the yearnings of the general public seeking additional ways that the passport issuance process can be less stressful and more efficient.

“Every Nigerian has the right to a Nigerian passport and it is our responsibility to put it in the hands of anyone desirous of it within the shortest possible time, without stress. The passport should be available in maximum of 72 hours of a successful application. Where there are issues, the applicant must be notified within 48 hours.

“A centre like this is necessary to reduce stress. Secondly, by minimising human contact, it eliminates the prospect of corruption. Further to the above, the sudden emergence of COVID-19 in our world today has not only affected our health, but has also affected the way we do business and interact socially.

“Therefore, as we continue to adjust to the ‘New Normal’, the Nigeria Immigration Service, by this initiative, is decentralizing the Passport issuing process by bringing it to the doorstep of Nigerians. In essence, the Passport Express Centre has indeed come at the right time.

“The commencement of the operations of this world-class facility will not only offer Nigerians services of convenience and pleasure by taking away the hitherto stress in the conventional passport offices. It will also afford Nigerians the opportunity of getting their Passports within 24 hours, at the high premium service and 72 hours at the ordinary premium service, albeit with added value and a little bit of extra cost,” the minister said.

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