The federal government has dashed the hope of many Nigerians who had eagerly awaited the resumption of the issuance of new passport on June 1.
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), had last month suspended the processing of new international passports till June 1, 2021.
The Service explained that the suspension was to ensure that all backlogs are produced and handed over to command controllers for collection by members of the public.
However, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has shifted the June 1 date by one week to June 8.
He disclosed the new date in a statement signed by Amos Okpu, Assistant Comptroller of Immigration Service public Relations Officer.
The Minister explained that the extension was aimed at allowing the ministry enough time to attend to applications for collection, clear all the remaining backlogs as well as improve system automation.
The Comptroller General of lmmigration Muhammad Babandede, also noted that that the Service has made significant progress in the clearance exercise of backlog of Passport applications.
He said that the huge number of applicants turning up to collect their passports across issuing centres is causing some form of congestion.
He said, “This situation will not allow the Service to accommodate new applications especially considering our desire to ensure that people who come to our offices comply with all the COVlD-l9 Protocols.
“So far a total number of 230,500 applications have been cleared and the Passports produced. Out of this, a total number of 43,350 are yet to be collected.
“Passport Control Officers have been directed to continue to send out short message notifications for collection to all applicants who indicated functional contact details/numbers in their applications while efforts have been intensified to clear up the remaining applications in some Centres.”
He explained that details of all passports that are yet to be collected will be uploaded on the service website, www.immigration.gov.ng, as part of efforts to ensure that applicants are duly notified and encouraged to go for collection of their Passports.