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Exclusive: Immigration officer speaks on availability of passport booklets



Immigration officers on duty

Barely 24 hours after Muhammad Babandede, comptroller-general, announced the availability of passport booklets in centres across the country and overseas that an immigration officer disclosed the category of applicants due for collection of the travel document.

The officer who prefered to remain anonymous explained that it was those who applied for the passport booklets in January that are being answered for now.

The immigration personel who spoke with businesses correspondent today, Thursday, April 1, also noted that people who applied for the booklets in February whould be answered after the Easter holidays.

According to him, the due date is being followed for the collection to clear the backlock.

Earlier, this medium reported that the NIS DG explained that measures have been put in place to clear the pending backlog and restore passports issuance.

He said: “There have been reports of Nigerians lamenting their inability to get their passports from the NIS due to a scarcity of passport booklets in the country.

“We acknowledge and apologize for the challenges faced in the past few weeks regarding passport booklets availability. I am glad to inform you that booklets are now available and are being distributed to all our passport issuing centres.

 “We are aware of huge backlogs of passports especially in our missions largely due to the inability of Nigerians to access the missions and be captured.

“We witness a huge gap between payment, enrollment and issuance especially in places like London, where there are over 20, 000 applicants who paid and are yet to be captured.

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“A special team will be dispatched to facilitate enrollment and production in all the affect passports offices in Nigeria and abroad.

“With the closure of some missions due to COVID-19 compliant policy of some countries, Nigerians in such countries where missions are closed and are holding expired passports can board aircraft after applying to the CGI for approval and clearance received they can proceed to the airport for their onward journey o Nigeria.”

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