The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has said that the automation of passport applications is 99 percent complete and expected to go live next week.
The Minister made the revelation on a Channels Television programme: “Politics Today,” on Tuesday.
Tunji-Ojo said: “Automation of passport applications is 99 percent done.
“We’ve done the testing, and we should be going live in the next week or thereabouts.
“That will ensure that all Nigheria need to do in an immigration center – a passport center – is just biometrics, just to take your fingerprints.
“All other things are going to be in the comfort of your home, including uploading your passport picture and your supporting documents, just like your visa.
“For me personally, I have said this to service providers.
“I said it today, I said it yesterday, and I have always told them: ‘You need to make life easy for people. We cannot, as a government and as a service, make things more difficult than they ought to be.’
“Part of the reforms that we are putting in place now, starting from December, is that even when you want to enrol for your passport, you fill your forms online, you do your payments online, and everything.
“You do not need to go to the passport office to have your picture captured.
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“People apply for American visas, people apply for UK visas, and people apply all over the world.
“Your passport with the required specifications as directed by the NIS (Nigeria Immigration Service) will be uploaded on the platform.
“You upload your passport online, you upload your supporting documents online, so when you go to the immigration office, you spend just like five minutes just to have your biometric captured.
Tunji-Ojo stressed that the days of drawn-out enrollment procedures are long gone and unacceptable, adding that it is Nigerians’ right to experience a smooth procedure.
He said: “The era of people sacrificing a whole day just because they want to go to a passport office for enrollment is over.
“It is unacceptable.
“You cannot inconvenience people based on their rights.
“It is the right of the people to have a seamless experience.”
Tunji-Ojo said 204,322 international passports are now ready for collection out of the backlog of over 300,000 he met on assumption of office.
He also disclosed that only 99,901 had been collected out of the number ready for collection.