The federal government has ordered the suspension of the processing of new passport applications in all passport offices nationwide till June 1.
Minister of Interior, Ọgbẹni Rauf Aregbesola, who gave this order said this would enable the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to clear the over 244,336 backlogs of applications pending with the service for months because of the scarcity of the passport booklets.
This was contained in a statement signed by the deputy comptroller general of the NIS, AB Yarima.
The statement read that the suspension was necessary in order to ease the preparation for the commencement of a new passport regime.
Yerima said: “I am directed to convey to you the directive of the Honourable Minister of Interior on the suspension of processing of New Passport Applications in all passport offices nationwide.
“This directive, which comes into effect from today 17, May 2021, has become necessary to allow enough time to clear all backlog of applications sequel to the commencement of the new passport regime on 19 June, 2021.
“Consequent upon the foregoing, all PCOs are therefore directed to utilize this period, 17, May 2021, to 31, May 2021, to ensure that all backlogs are produced and handed over to Command Comptrollers for collection by members of the public concerned.
“Accordingly, new application for passports, whether fresh or renewal are by this circular suspended till 1, June 2021.”
The statement also noted that all offices nationwide were advised to comply with the suspension of all applications until June 1.
Meanwhile, Techeconomy.ng previously reported that the government had vowed to settle all backlogs of undelivered passport requests before May 31st, saying the launch of a new passport application system would be aided by fast track services nationwide
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed this in a press briefing with newsmen on Thursday, April 22.
Aregbesola: “On or before May 31st, all backlogs of undelivered requests for passports will be totally met, unless such applications have a problem.
“But before the deadline, the problematic application would be contacted, so that we know what’s wrong with the applications.
“Assuming there would be no problem, every successful application for a passport would be given a passport on or before May 31st.”