Furthermore, he expressed concern that half of the owners of these uncollected passports could not be contacted due to inadequate documentation caused by third-party involvement.
By Ochuko Godbless:
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has reported that approximately 97,000 passport booklets issued across the 36 states nationwide, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have not been collected. In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, Mr. Tony Akuneme, the Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO) and Comptroller of Immigration, revealed this information.
Akuneme stated that the service recently discovered that Lagos State accounted for half of the uncollected passports. Furthermore, he expressed concern that half of the owners of these uncollected passports could not be contacted due to inadequate documentation caused by third-party involvement.
He also emphasized that declaring a state of emergency was intended to attract media attention and facilitate a more thorough process for the service, as many individuals are unaware if their passports are ready for collection.
“Some of them engaged agents to help them in their passport processing and these agents might be doing for alot of persons.
“They end up dropping wrong contacts and thereby making it difficult to reach out to the owners of these passports when they are ready for collection. This is a big challenge, “he said.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs. Caroline Adepoju, the Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), recently declared a state of emergency regarding passport issues nationwide.
The Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO) stated that the service has recently discovered that many applicants’ complaints are related to both human and technical factors, such as the slow speed of the Internet.
He further explained that the Comptroller General wanted to ensure there was no ambiguity regarding her primary focus, which is the processing of passports.
“That’s how she came about that term of declaring state of emergency in the passport issues.
“When the acting CG assumed office, she made it very clear that she was going to focus on Passport reforms and staff welfare, “he said.
Akuneme mentioned that the service, nevertheless, required the media’s assistance in informing Nigerians that they should not assume there is a shortage of passport booklets.
He said “there are booklets issued that are not collected. It is ironical, we don’t have problem of booklet, we don’t have shortage of booklets.
“What we have had in the last one or two years is a sudden upsurge in the number of Nigerians wanting to travel . We felt it was also related to COVID-19, “he said.