The Federal Government has said it has digitalised payments for the Nigerian Passports, advising citizens to avoid patronizing touts and officials when applying for the documents.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola stated this on Monday in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital, during the Rollout of the Enhanced e-Passport with Polycarbonate Data Page and other security features.
According to the minister, Part of the reforms is the migration of passport application and payments to digital platforms. But we regret to observe that applicants still patronise touts and unscrupulous officials in the hope to beat the system and get expedited services.
“But I will implore applicants to stop patronising touts and our officials directly. Follow the process we put in place. Apply for passports and pay online.
Speaking on the new application process, the minister noted that a new timeline has been set for fresh passport application and reissue.
“Our template stipulates maximum six weeks for obtaining new passports and maximum three weeks for renewal.
He said this schedule will be followed to to enable officials investigate any claims made by applicants and verify them,
On the new enhanced passport being rolled out in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital, the minister noted that the passport is an improved document with high security features.
“The Enhanced e-Passport is a great improvement on the Biometric Passport technology which Nigeria adopted in 2007 as a deliberate step towards curbing forgery, impersonation and other forms of travel document fraud associated with the old Machine-Readable Passport regime.
Aregbesola noted that it is the most secure and latest technology in passport making anywhere in the world and only few countries have it.
In his remarks, the Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, CG Isah Jere, reiterated the call by the minister for citizens to stopped patronising touts.
Also speaking at the commissioning, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Segun Ogunbiyi lauded the efforts of the Nigeria Immigration Service saying the state will continue to support the service in performing its statutory duty.