Passport backlogs to be cleared within two weeks

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The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, on Tuesday, said all passport backlogs should be cleared within the next two weeks, adding that there is no excuse for passport delay in Nigeria.

He also said he is in talks with service providers and the Nigeria Immigration Service to digitise and decentralise the process of fresh passport issuance and renewal.

The minister revealed this while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Tuesday night.

Tunji Ojo said, “Clearing all backlogs shouldn’t take more than two weeks. After clearing these backlogs, no Nigerian should wait for more than two weeks,”

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

According to him, “It’s a right and not a privilege. Nigerians want that right to be actually theirs, not by somebody offering you your right.”

He said it is not excusable for any Nigerian to be treated with disrespect because of passport application, adding, “What Nigerians want to see is 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 analysed 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.