File Photo of Passport Booklets
Passport issuing offices all over the country will now work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to clear the backlog of applications, Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Muhammad Babandede, has announced.
Babandede also announced an increase in its production capacity of the passport booklets to beat the May 31 deadline set to clear backlog of passport applications.
He announced this while briefing newsmen on the NIS passport reforms and recruitment exercise on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the passport production centres across the country were working round the clock to clear the backlogs before the commencement of the new passport regime on June 1.
NIS boss also gave assurance that the service had enough booklet, adding that a total of 23,903 passports were currently awaiting collection by the applicants.
According to him, more than 35,000 passports had been produced in the last few days, with about 22,840 collected, 23,903 not collected and 28 damaged.
He urged all applicants to be on alert as text messages were being sent to their registered phone numbers, adding that those that had turned off their Do not Disturb button on their phones to reactivate.
Babandede assured applicants that the more than 100,000 pending applications would be dealt with before the deadline of May 31.
“The major challenge we have now is not booklet but production capacity and we have added two production lines to Ikoyi and Ibadan centres,” he said.
He warned that the any officer involved in passports racketeering would be dealt with going forward, adding that the erring officers were partly responsible for the uncollected passports.