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43,350 passports out of 230,500 ready for collection – Interior Minister

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In line with the commitment of the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola to transform service efficiency within the agencies under the ministry, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has begun a process to ensure that all backlogs of passports are completely sorted out and over 40,000 of passports ready and yet to be collected have been published on the NIS website.

According to the directive of the minister to the agency to clear all backlogs within six weeks, NIS has informed the members of the public that 43,350 passports out of the total number of 230,500 passports applications that have been cleared and produced are ready for collection, just as the agency also directed Passport Control Officers to continue to send out notifications for collection to all applicants, Nigerian Tribune gathered.

In a release signed by the Assistant Comptroller of NIS, Amos Okpu, and made available to Tribune Online, it was gathered that the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, and Comptroller General of Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede (MFR) said that on no account should an extra payment be made for the collection of passports.

“This feat is unprecedented and at best the first time such would be done in the operation of the NIS. The minister who has tasked the agency to ensure that excellent customer service becomes the hallmark of the agency is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring this is achieved and that Nigerians begin to have valued each time they engage the services of the NIS.

“Going by this unprecedented move, it can be said that Nigeria is beginning to see a drive forward a more efficient environment where service to the people is considered utmost and where the people are well treated as they engage the agencies of government. This again underscores the commitment to deliver a pleasant experience that aids the government’s focus for improving the business climate and also facilitates the ease of doing business,” the release stated.

Aregbesola noted that, the implications of having backlog passports can be enormous and that it has bearing on many aspects of Nigeria’s economic and social life, adding that, “One can only imagine the unavailability of an international passport for a local investor who needs to travel for months but couldn’t because of the passport. This is what the improved process we see today would completely eliminate and our businessmen and women wouldn’t have to wait for months unending.”

Aregbesola also said that the development was a strategic process and one in the series of interventions the ministry is bringing to bear on all its agencies. He added that the NIS and other agencies under the ministry will continue to transform and shift in the value curve, and the efforts are sustainably developed.

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