The Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi #Tunji-Ojo, has declared illegal the N5,000 “compliance fee” charged by some personnel of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in some #passport offices to help applicants process their passports.
Tunji-Ojo made the declaration while responding to questions from reporters.
“Compliance fee? I am hearing it for the first time. We will plead with Nigerians to assist us in succeeding. Do not pay the compliance fee if there is anything like that. Do not pay for your rights. There is nothing in the books that is a compliance fee. Please, let us educate our people,”, he stated….CONTINUE READING HERE
Upon taking office, the minister questioned the huge lines at immigration offices, stating that the situation had devolved into Nigerians queuing for passports to paradise.
While emphasizing the importance of reducing the time it takes to obtain an international passport, the minister stated that even as a federal lawmaker and Chairman of the Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), her own daughter waited for six months to obtain her passport, leaving her to wonder what the fate of the average Nigerian would be.
His predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola, had imposed a three-week turnaround period for passport renewals and a six-week turnaround time for new applications. However, there were more than 204,000 unprocessed applications as of September 2023.
Acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Caroline Wuraola-Adepoju, detailed the reasons for the rising backlogs, stating that the desire of young Nigerians to leave the country, dubbed the “Japa Syndrome,” has resulted in an increase in applications since 2021.
“My daughter waited for six months to get her passport booklet. I was the House committee chairmaofon the NDDC. I faced this. Tell me what an average Nigerian would face. It is like we are waiting for a passport to heaven,” said Tunji-Ojo.
As a result, he directed that the backlogs be addressed within two weeks. Working with technical partners and with the minister’s leadership, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) was able to remove the backlogs in just over two weeks.
Surprisingly, more than half of individuals who applied before September of this year and whose passport booklets are now ready have declined to pick up their documents….CONTINUE READING HERE