The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Ikoyi Passport Office, Lagos has attributed the delay in processing international travel documents to challenges of epileptic power supply and non- validation of names supplied by applicants in their National Identity Number (NIN).
Passport Control Officer (PCO) Ikoyi Passport Office, Mrs Abolupe Bewaji, a deputy Comptroller of Immigration (DCI), disclosed this to journalists in Lagos.
The new PCO said the NIS is scaling up efforts to address the challenges to improve delivery timelines for the renewal and issuance of international travel documents in line with the Ministerial directive.
Besides, she said hitches associated with epileptic power supply has been addressed as a financial institution donated a 100KVA generating set within the first six days of her assumption of office to fast track issuance of passports.
While calling on applicants to resolve challenges brought about by non -validation of information submitted in their NIN, she said the NIS was doing everything within its powers to reduce the activities of touts in passport offices.
A source at the Ikoyi office hinted The Nation that hitches in network from the portal of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) also contributes significantly to the delay in processing passports.
Officials of the NIS hinted that for upwards of days, there is usually downtime in connecting to the portal of NIMC to validate applicants’ information to speed up passport processing.
Bewaji said: “Applicants will be attended to on a first come- serve basis. The ministerial order on passport issuance administration reforms will be strictly adhered to. Passport renewal will take three weeks while fresh application will take six weeks.
“I must admit that the problem of power supply has been delaying passport processing at the Ikoyi Passport Office before my assumption of office, but all thanks to God and Access Bank Plc.
“We have been able to overcome this challenge in my first six days in office as a 100 KVA generating set was donated to us. We need to educate the public in certain areas on the price of passports as this will help us reduce the influence of toutsin passport offices.
“Second is the issue of National Identity Number. Applicants who wish to get their passport should make sure the details on their passports are the same with what is on the National Identity Number before they start the application.”
On crowd control at the Ikoyi Passport Office, Bewaji said the NIS is collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to evolve the best protocols to reduce the incidence of COVID -19 spread.