The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) is set to overhaul the process of passport administration in the country by deploying cutting edge technology to reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks. The Comptroller-general (CG) of the service, Mr. Muhammed Babandede, disclosed this while addressing officers of the service at the NIS headquarters in Abuja.
According to a statement issued by the spokesman of NIS, Ekpedeme King, the existing channels will be followed when treating applications for facilities but the only difference is that it will be done electronically.
In the same vein, the CGI has delegated some of his responsibilities such as the approval of certain categories of passport applications to his deputies and assistants in order to reduce the work load for the CGI as well as facilitate the processing of passports.
State governments are expected to provide comptrollers in their states with the lists of state commissioners, and aides of their governors for verification. The comptrollers will confirm the eligibility of the applicants to the service headquarters. This reform is to facilitate the process of issuance of official/service passports as the approval would have been granted before they finally visit the Service headquarters for biometric data acquisition.
Mr. Babandede also stated that it is his desire to reform the processes down to the local government area level in order to promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria. “For as we all know when the foreign investors bring their business to Nigeria they also provide employment opportunities for our teeming youths,” he said.
He added that he has set a timeline of two months to complete the reforms in passport administration.