To alleviate the stress and delays often encountered by Nigerians while applying for passports, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced plans to automate the passport application process.
The Acting Comptroller General, Caroline Adepoju, revealed this during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily program on Thursday, July 20, 2023.
Adepoju acknowledged that the NIS has witnessed an unprecedented surge in passport applications over the past two years. As a result, the Service is taking steps to meet the expectations of Nigerians and streamline the application process.
The primary objective is to eliminate the human interface, making passport application more efficient and accessible.
“Our applications are available online, and we are trying to sensitize our applicants that they should go online for these applications to avoid patronizing louts,” Adepoju emphasized during the interview.
While addressing concerns about the time it takes to issue passports, Adepoju assured Nigerians that due to the passport’s significance as a security document, various processes such as security checks and address verification are required, causing a certain amount of processing time.
As a proactive measure, she advised Nigerians to begin the passport renewal process at least six months before their current passport expires. For fresh applicants, she stressed that they don’t need to wait until they require the passport urgently and can begin the application process ahead of time.
To address the long queues at passport offices, the NIS is aiming to introduce a system where passport renewal can be completed online without applicants having to physically visit the offices.
This way, the process will be more streamlined, and the only individuals visiting the offices will be fresh applicants requiring data capture.
The move towards automating the passport application process comes as a welcome relief to many Nigerians who have faced challenges and delays in obtaining travel documents.
By reducing human interaction and promoting online applications, the NIS is taking significant steps to ensure that passport issuance becomes more efficient and hassle-free for Nigerian citizens.
As the NIS works towards implementing this automation, it remains committed to meeting the high demand for passports and providing an improved and smoother experience for all applicants.