Passports must be available within 48 hours – Aregbesola orders Immigration

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Rauf Aregbesola, the Interior Minister, has ordered the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure that passports are issued to Nigerians within 48 hours after application.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2019 management retreat of the NIS in Lagos, Aregbesola tasks immigration officers should prioritise service delivery.

Aregbesola said, “We read daily how passports are never available. There have been complaints on how difficult it is to obtain passports in Nigeria. There must be justifiable delay in issuing passports; and when there are delays, there must be mechanisms for communicating with the applicants latest in 72 hours.

“There must be regular engagement with Nigerians on why there is a delay in issuing their passports. Passports must be made available to Nigerians in 48 hours at the official fee.”

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Aregebeola also said, “we must do something to make Nigerians feel at home and proud that they are in their country. We see how citizens of other countries are treated at their airports. Nigerians also deserve to be proud and spend less time in queue when they get to their country,” he said.

On land borders, the minister urged immigration officers to improve their expertise in ensuring security, adding that unwanted and criminal persons must not be allowed into the country through the borders.

On his part, the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede, said the retreat was organised to aid brainstorming on challenges facing the NIS.

“This retreat is another opportunity to critically examine the journey so far with a view to delivering a robust compass that will guide our activities in the years ahead,” he said.

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