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97,000 Passports Uncollected Nationwide – NIS

ABUJA- An estimated 97,000 brand new passport booklets are said to be lying uncollected in the Nigerian Immigration Service offices scattered across the 36 states of the nation with Lagos alone accounting for half the number.

This was revealed In by the Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO) and Comptroller of Immigration Mr Tony Akuneme, during a recent interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Akuneme explained that reaching the owners of these uncollected passports is challenging due to improper documentation, often caused by third-party agents. He emphasized that the recent state of emergency declaration on passport issues aimed to draw media attention to help inform the public about passport collection.

Many people who engaged agents during the passport application process were left unaware of their passport’s readiness for collection, as the agents often provided incorrect contact information. This lack of communication has significantly hindered the process of reaching passport owners.

Mrs. Caroline Adepoju, the Acting Comptroller General of NIS, , has declared a state of emergency on passport issues across the country. Akuneme stated that the primary focus of Adepoju’s tenure would be on passport reforms and staff welfare. In addition, Lagos State Governor has shown interest in collaborating with the NIS to expand passport services in Lagos by providing office space for front desk services.

Akuneme emphasized the importance of the media in informing Nigerians about the availability of passport booklets, adding that there is no shortage. He attributed the recent upsurge in Nigerians seeking to travel to the COVID-19 pandemic and urged the public to collect their passports.

SOURCE: The Guardian

IMAGE: Premium Times

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