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NIS orders attaches in London to resume issuance of Nigerian passport

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Segun Oladipupo

Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has directed the Immigration Attaches at the United Kingdom High Commission to continue with the issuance of the enhanced e-Passports in the Mission.

The Comptroller General of Immigration ,Isah Jere Idris, made the declaration in view of the circular issued over the weekend by the Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom announcing the suspension of issuance of the enhanced e-Passports to Nigerians in the United Kingdom

The Nigerian High Commission had issued a circular suspending the exercise,alleging frustrations, abuse and harassment of mission officials and acclaimed challenges being experienced by the applicants while applying at the Mission.

The service therefore described the claim in the circular that the unveiling of the enhanced e-Passport and the appointment system has brought some challenges, as an imagination.

In a statement signed by the Service Public Relations Officer, Assistant Comptroller of Immigration, Amos Okpu, said, “Consequent upon the above and in order not to subject our compatriots who desire Passport services in the United Kingdom to unnecessary pains in procuring Passports, the Acting Comptroller General has in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 9 (1) of the Immigration Act, 2015 directed the Immigration Attaches at the Mission to continue with the issuance of the enhanced e-Passports in the Mission.

“Meanwhile, a team comprising representatives of relevant stakeholders on the Passport platform to be led by the Assistant Comptroller General of Immigration overseeing the Passport Directorate is due to arrive the UK within the week to address the challenges raised by the Mission.

“The Acting Comptroller General therefore, wishes to use this opportunity to assure members of the public of management’s commitment to steady deployment of ICT solutions to eliminate all unnecessary bottlenecks with a view to maintaining quality and transparent service delivery across all service windows.

Corroborating its stand, the Service added that a total of 5918 Passport applications have been received and processed out of which 5225 have been produced and the applicants issued their Passports within the period of November, 2021 and March, 2022.

The breakdown indicates the followings; 58 enrolments were made in November, 2021 while 50 passports were issued, in December, 2021, 402 enrolments were recorded while 376 passports were issued.

In January, 2022, 1,424 enrolments were recorded while 1266 passports were issued, February,2022 recorded 1809 entries and issuance of 1411 was made while 2225 enrolments were made in March, 2022 and 2122 issuance recorded with a total of 5918 enrolments and 5225 issuance made within the period under review.

The statement quoted Jere saying, “While the Service would not want to be seen as opposing any move by the Mission to genuinely improve its services to our compatriots in the United Kingdom, it is imperative that we offer some clarifications on the subject matter.

“Suffice it be stated that as part of efforts to deepen the data harmonization policy of government and with a view to achieving the emergence of a seamless integrated national identity management system for the country, the Service unveiled the enhanced e-Passport facility in London on the 23rd November, 2021.

“Some major requirements of the enhanced e-Passport include digitized application and payment process, mandatory requirement that Passport applicants would have been registered by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on the same identity with which they will use for procuring the enhanced e-Passport as well as the introduction of the appointment system.

“The digitized platform is to ensure that applicants get to apply and pay the exact fee ONLY for the Passport category of their choice online via passport.immigration.gov.ng while the appointment system is aimed at reducing the avoidable age-long overcrowding situations at the Mission.

“It would be recalled that before the introduction of the appointment system, the entire premises of the Nigeria House on Northumberland Avenue London has not only been very chaotic but nothing close to decent.

The appointment system has since addressed this as Passport applicants only go to the Mission for Passport services on their appointment dates.

© 2022, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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