Nigerian passport applications would be fully digitalized by December, according to Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola.
When he was a guest on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja, Mr. Aregbesola revealed this.
He said that complete digitization would completely end all interactions between passport applicants and immigration agents.
He claims that doing this will get rid of the system’s ingrained corruption.
The initiative, according to the ministry, is one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s top priorities.
“We’re working on it, and by December, we’ll stop processing passport applications manually.
Because files are still opened by hand, we still have some manual components.
“By December, there will be no manual element of the passport processing; every portion of it will be digitised,” he continued, “especially at the busiest passport processing centers.”
He asserted that there is no lack of passport books in the nation and urged applicants to start the passport-processing process at least six months before the intended departure date.
“Start the application process as soon as possible if you need a passport right away; do not wait until two weeks before your trip to start.
If you don’t, you’ve already made things difficult for yourself because the system synchronizes your data with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) database once it has been captured, according to the man.
Aregbesola asked people applying for passports to confirm that their names and other details match those in the National Identity database.
According to him, “every identity paper must be the identical to facilitate capture,” and even incorrect name spellings could cause delays in the issuing of passports.
“You have to comprehend what it is. According to a presidential directive, the new passport system must ensure that all personal information is uniform and consistent.
“Every part of you, including who you are in the bank and on the national identity database, must match what is on your passport, the most secure identity document.
“When you come to us to register, after completing your form online, you come for data capture. What you do there is to synchronize what you have filled out in your form and your bio-data as we move forward.
“So we will run into some issues with passport processing when your name doesn’t match what we have, or your data information is not the same on the necessary platforms,” he said.
Don’t support touts, crooked NIS personnel
In addition, Mr. Aregbesola urged Nigerians to quit submitting their passport applications to touts, con artists, and dishonest immigration authorities.
He claimed that doing this was essential to halt systemic corruption.
According to him, Nigerians must make a commitment to put an end to touts, con artists, and dishonest immigration officers.
“An unauthorized commercial organization had been established around the passport.
In order to eradicate and do rid of such illegal activity, he said, Nigerians must be committed, dedicated, and involved.
According to the minister, problems with passport issuing will persist as long as Nigerians demand a quick cut to the application procedure.
He claims that individuals who fall prey to touts and dishonest passport authorities are the ones that struggle with the process the most.
Therefore, he insisted that those applying for passports adhere to the law, help fight corruption, and promote integrity in the passport system.
By initially commencing the procedure early, please avoid any attempt to obtain the passport through a third party, tout, or con artists.
“If I had to make a suggestion, I would advise starting the application procedure six months before the license expires, is renewed, or is obtained in the first place, unless there is an emergency.
“There won’t be any problem at all if you start six months in advance. And why do I advocate a six-month period? As a result, it is the bare minimal time you have to process any visa,” he stated.
According to Mr. Aregbesola, there won’t be any tension in the following six months, regardless of how careless the human aspect may be.
The minister urged the public and the media to support efforts to stop the threat and to encourage passport applicants to act morally at all times. The Agency Report