32,462 Nigerians Apply for Passports in Two Weeks – Report

Between January 8 and 21, 2024, 32,462 people applied for passports and uploaded their documentation using the Nigeria Immigration Service website.

According to the Vanguard report, 15,113 applications have been authorized for biometric capture and production, accounting for 50% of the total.

Nigerians are applying for passports in droves as they seek better opportunities abroad.

Caroline Adepoju, the comptroller-general of Immigration Service, provided a summary of passport applications for the year 2024 while on a visit to the Ikoyi and Alausa passport offices yesterday to see how things were going with the implementation of the automated passport application process.

At the conclusion of the evaluation, the Immigration chief informed press that 11,505 of the 32,462 applications were pending approval, while 3,406 who had paid had yet to schedule appointments.

According to her, 1,438 applications were reviewed for a variety of reasons.

Adepoju said: “50 per cent of the total applications have been successfully approved for biometric capture, production and issuance, 35 per cent awaits approval, 11 per cent made payments but yet to book appointments and only four per cent of total applications were queried.

“When queries are successfully answered, the applications return to the queue and are subsequently approved for biometric acquisition, production and issuance”.

Adepoju, who noted that the introduction of the automation of passport applications was not new, clarified that further: “The major difference now is that supporting documents are now uploaded online. It is a research-based decision and we have been recording successes.

“As of this morning (yesterday), we have only recorded four per cent rejection of uploaded documents which may be due to errors on the side of the applicant. But our help desk is operational 24/7.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service, our technical partners, service providers and other stakeholders worked together with the Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, to come up with this reform on the automation of passport process which has been in place since the inception of the issuance of enhanced e-passport in 2020.”

She added that the automation of passport applications was intended to, among other things, ease the application process and reduce human interaction, which had been a major complaint from applicants who had been extorted by touts during the application process.

The Immigration boss urged Nigerians to be patient and allow the NIS to improve the process.

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