The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed this while speaking at the opening of the Nigeria Immigration Service Passport Front Desk Office in Auchi, Edo State, on Saturday, 20th May 2023.
“We are in the final stage of concluding negotiations with NIPOST to begin using its speed mail service to deliver passports to Nigerians wherever they are in the world after production,” the Minister disclosed.
According to a statement by Sola Fasure, Media Adviser to the Minister, the launch of an additional Passport Front Office in Auchi, Edo State, was part of the government’s effort towards effective service delivery to Nigerians.
He quoted Aregbesola as saying it was the intention of the government to provide the passport to anyone desirous of it within a reasonable time, at an affordable price and without any stress.
Aregbesola, while stating that Edo State has one of the highest passport applications in Nigeria, revealed that the waiting period between application and collection would likely increase due to the recent increase in demand.
In his words: “Our current working schedule is that fresh application would take six weeks after biometric data registration and three weeks for renewal. This is reasonable, competitive and in line the global best practices.
“The challenge, however, is the waiting period at the point of application and data registration.
“All applicants will be put in a queue, depending on the centre of their choice, to determine the registration date. Regrettably, it might take two months in some highly competitive centres where the application is very high. We have no control over this.”
He however said that the Federal Government is intentional about opening more front desk offices, in order to increase the registration centres and reduce the waiting period before biometric data capture.
This year alone, the Minister of Interior had been in Daura in Katsina State, Alimosho in Lagos, Ilesa in Osun, Zaria in Kaduna and Oyo in Oyo State to commission Passport Front Desk Offices.
Speaking earlier, the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Isah Jere Idris, said that the choice of Auchi is apt, as Edo State ranks fifth amongst states with the highest volume of passport applications locally.
According to him, “In the past 365 days, Edo state has processed 56,291 applications out of the 1.5 million passports produced in Nigeria. The commissioning of this front office will no doubt go a long way in reducing the traffic in Edo State and other neighboring States.”