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Nigeria to clear backlogs of passports in 2 weeks, to digitise issuance and renewal 

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The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has said that clearing all passport backlogs shouldn’t take more than two weeks, adding that there is no excuse for passport delays in Nigeria.

Tunji-Ojo made, who spoke during his appearance on Channel Television program, said “clearing all backlogs shouldn’t take more than two weeks”, adding that the scarcity and delay around fresh passport issuance and renewal fuel corruption in the sector.

“After clearing these backlogs, no Nigerian should wait for more than two weeks,” he stressed.

The minister said owning a green passport is a right for every Nigerian and not a privilege.

He said, “It’s a right and not a privilege; Nigerians want that right to be actually theirs, not somebody else’s.”

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According to him, it is not excusable for any Nigerian to be treated with disrespect because of a passport application.

“What Nigerians want to see are solutions, and that is what the President has constantly told us… No excuses.

“In line with the directive of Mr. President, it can no longer be business as usual. We have critically analyzed all these scenarios, from the point of going online to fill out the form to the point of payment to the point of picking a date to the point of biometrics to the point of issuance of passports.

“We understand the service providers involved, and we have been able to see one or two things to put right,” he said.

Tunji-Ojo also said he is in talks with service providers and the Nigeria Immigration Service to digitize and decentralize the process of fresh passport issuance and renewal.

“We have to digitize, and we also have to decentralize the whole enrollment system and make it possible for people to walk into the nearest post office; people can walk into financial institutions; and there are many other ways. We are still playing with so many ideas,” he said.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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