…Says Contactless Passport Renewal To Begin March 8
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Wura-Ola Adepoju, says it will take two weeks between the point of application for green passports to be produced.
Adepoju was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Wednesday, alongside the NIS Deputy Comptroller General, Kemi Nandap.
“Because of the screening that we need to do, we are looking at two weeks as timeframe from the point of application to the point of production,” she said while lamenting that there were so many uncollected passports at Ikoyi office of the Service, amongst others.
Adepoju also said Nigerians would be able to renew their travel passports without human contact effective March 8, 2024.
The Immigration boss said, “From March 8, everyone applying for renewal will be doing contactless application because for people who have the Nigerian passports, we have their data, we have their biometrics.
“So, from the comfort of their homes, they can apply for renewal or re-issue of their passports and they would be able to deploy their biometrics like their fingerprints which we will now compare with what we have in our database. If everything goes, then we will be able to issue them the passports they applied for.”
On her part, Nandap said over 46,000 applications have been received since January 8, 2024 when the Service began automation of the passport application process.
“We are making it as seamless as possible. From inception, that’s January 8 which was when we went live, we’ve received over 46,000 applications (both fresh and renewal),” she said while appealing to Nigerians to input the right information on the Service’s website.
Also, Adepoju said there is provision for change of data on the portal for passport application. On whether immigration officials would lose their jobs, she said, “No, the objective of the automation is to make things seamless, the comfort of our application and national security.”
“From March 8, all the people applying for renewal will be able to do contactless biometric capturing.”
On efforts put in place to ensure non-Nigerians do not get the green passport, Nandap said, “We are meeting with critical stakeholders such NPC and ALGON because an average Nigerian will have to go to their local government to get their certificate of indigeneship.
“We are working tirelessly with these stakeholders to make sure that they also have a proper way of documenting these certificates because they give us these certificates that we use.
“Even if we say it’s seamless and contactless, we still have officers on ground to do secondary checks to ensure that the person sitting in front of you to be captured for biometrics is actually a Nigerian. we have different levels of checks and ways to making sure that nobody who is a non-Nigerian gets our passport.”