The Federal Government is concluding plans with NIPOST to aid the delivery of passports to Nigerians anywhere in the world.
The Ministry of Interior disclosed the development on Saturday during the opening of the Nigeria Immigration Service Passport Front Desk Office in Auchi, Edo State.
Rauf Aregbesola who heads the ministry disclosed plans to utilize NIPOST’s speed mail service for the process.
He said, “We are in the final stage of concluding negotiations with NIPOST to begin using its speed mail service to deliver passports to Nigerians wherever they are in the world after production”.
The Minister noted that the plan was an effort by the FG to provide passports to anyone who desire it within a reasonable period, price and without stress.
Aregbesola revealed that the launch of the additional Passport Front Office in Edo was also based on the state ranking as one of those with the highest passport applications in the country.
“Our current working schedule is that fresh application would take six weeks after biometric data registration and three weeks for renewal. This is reasonable, competitive and in line the global best practices.
“The challenge, however, is the waiting period at the point of application and data registration.
“All applicants will be put in a queue, depending on the centre of their choice, to determine the registration date. Regrettably, it might take two months in some highly competitive centres where the application is very high. We have no control over this,” he added.
The launch, according to the ministry will help to increase the registration centres across the country, and reduce the waiting period before biometric data capture.
Reacting, the state’s Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Isah Idris said Edo ranks fifth amongst states with the highest volume of passport applications locally, thus, applauding the initiative.
“In the past 365 days, Edo state has processed 56,291 applications out of the 1.5 million passports produced in Nigeria. The commissioning of this front office will no doubt go a long way in reducing the traffic in Edo State and other neighbouring States,” Idris said.
So far, the ministry has launched passport front desk offices in Daura, Katsina State, Alimosho, Lagos State, Ilesa, Osun State, Zaria, Kaduna State and Oyo, Oyo State.
Access to passport has remained an issue for many Nigerians despite public declarations by the FG to resolve it. The situation has also heightened with increase in demand for passport by Nigerians seeking to migrate to other countries.
In 2022 alone, the ministry disclosed an unprecedented production of over 1.7 million passport while disclosing, there were still over 200,000 booklets yet to be collected as of January 2023.