Immigration Blames NIMC for Delay in Issuance of Passport

Immigration Blames NIMC for Delay in Issuance of Passport

Chinedu Eze

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has attributed its inability to meet the six weeks target for the issuance of fresh passport or three week re-issuance to challenges posed by National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in obtaining National Identity Number (NIN).

Immigration has also advised intending applicants to ensure that their details in their passports and those on their National Identity Number (NIN) correspond or they would not get passports until that challenge was resolved.

Passport applicants who spoke to journalists said there were discerning changes since a new administration has taken charge of the Ikoyi Passport office, noting that the cloud of uncertainty, which characterised activities in the office in the past, had disappeared.

However, they noted that major challenge experienced with regards to collection of passport booklets by applicants were attributed to the inability to provide NIN for some of the applicants in time.

Some applicants were told that the NIN portal had been down for weeks and the Nigerian Immigration Service could not confirm and match identity details in both documents.

The new Passport Control Officer (PCO), Deputy Controller Immigration, Abolupe Bewaji, explained that applicants always mistakenly think Immigration issues NIN and usually lump the blames of delays experienced on the NIN on the service, stating that applicants must ensure the have their NIN before applying as doing both simultaneously, especially with down time from the NIN end, would lead to such delays.

She said, ” For people seeking passports they need their NIN validated before we proceed further on application of passports. This will make them know the delay in the process is not from Immigration. All things being equal re-issuance of a passport is three weeks while fresh passports are six weeks. We need all hands on deck to educate the public on certain areas. For example, the price of passports is online. It is everywhere and so we need to project it so people are aware and it becomes, as it should be.

“We should make the public to know the difference between starting application with Immigration and getting you NIN validated correctly. All details in your passports should correspond and be arranged the way it is on your NIN Slip, if there are differences, the process will not work and this will cause delay on the passport,” she explained.

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