The Nigeria Immigration Service NIS has disclosed that it has no fewer than 110,000 passports lying in its vaults, with their owners not coming forward to collect them.
According to the Service, about 60 percent of passport applicants go through third parties who usually input wrong details during the application.
Service Spokesman, DCI Tony Akuneme disclosed this in a statement issued Wednesday in Abuja.
He said; “The NIS wishes to inform Nigerians that there are a total of 110, 000 uncollected passports in the 36 states of the country plus FCT.
“For this reason, the CGI has dispatched very senior officers of the rank of Assistant Comptrollers General to the various Zones and ensured these uncollected Passports are distributed to their owners.
“Nigerians are equally advised to go to the Passport offices where they applied for Passports and check as over 60% Passport applications are completed by third parties who input wrong contact information for their ‘clients’.
“We encourage Nigerians to endeavor to fill their Passport applications by themselves”.
In the statement, Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Isah Jere Idris, also reassured Nigerians that the passport reform process is still in progress, especially the fast track programme designed specifically for those who returned from different parts of the globe for the Yuletide.
The CGI stated this in Kano on Wednesday, when he commissioned an enhanced e-Passport production facility.
Represented by the ACG Passport, Sadat Hassan, the CGI said he was particularly happy with the positive feedback from the various Passport offices across the country, which shows that our people appreciate the novel initiative.
“We intend to keep the two weeks processing timeframe open to all diasporas until January 31st when the program will come to an end”, he said.
The CGI added that the NIS is still committed to issuing Passports between three to six weeks, post biometric capture, where there are no technical hitches or application irregularities such as inconsistencies in the National Identification Number NIN of applicants.
He emphasized that NIN remains mandatory for the issuance of Passports and that information in both documents must match.
“We reiterate our official position that Passport applicants should please avoid using third parties but go online and make their applications/payments themselves at passport.immigration.gov.ng
“We continue to deal with the challenges of recalcitrant touts as well as few bad eggs amongst the personnel who are bent on sabotaging the reform process”, he stated.
The CGI warned the public against the nefarious activities of this racketeering syndicate who have gone a step further to even circulate fake news of Immigration recruitment exercise.