The Nigerian Immigration Services has placed a temporary stoppage of passport application and issuance from May 18, 2021 to an unannounced date in June.
According to the NIS, the ban is to clear a backlog of unprocessed and unclaimed booklets.
The Comptroller General of the NIS, Muhammed Babandede, said the ban would restrict the NIS from receiving fresh passport applications until the backlog is cleared.
He added that passport application payments will be done online when the portal is reopened in June.
The NIS currently has 136,364 unprocessed and unclaimed passports as backlog in its system.
Here is the breakdown of the current backlog:
- Local: 71, 644
- Enhanced: 46,814
- Foreign : 17,906
While discussing the reforms to the NIS, The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola had previously announced the new passport process would take about six weeks from registration date to collection.
He said the six-week time frame would allow for adequate investigation, verification and validation of personal information supplied by the applicants.
“What we are driving at, is the peace of mind that comes from the assurance of certainty. If there are circumstances that will make the date change, it will be communicated to the applicant one week before the collection date,” he said.
He noted that applicants will have no basis for further communication with officers than to complete their application process and leave the venue. The date for the collection of their passports or any challenge to the application will be communicated to them.
“The technology for the efficient running of this system has been acquired and will be deployed.
“We are publishing on our website the list of the backlog of passports that are ready which are yet to be collected by the owners. They will be required to go to the state commands to collect them.
“With these changes, it is my firm belief that we will arrive at a new dawn in passport application processing”, the minister added.