The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Tuesday, disclosed that 32,462 Nigerians have applied for international passports and uploaded their documents between January 8 and 21,2024.
Comptroller-General of Immigration Service Caroline Adepoju, said this during a visit to Ikoyi and Alausa passport offices to assess operations regarding the introduction of the automated passport application process which commenced on January 8, 2024.
Speaking with journalists after rounding up the assessment, Adepoju explained that out of the 32,462 total applications, 11,505 were awaiting approval, 3,406 who had made payments, were yet to book appointments, and 1,438 applications were issued queries.
“50 per cent of the total applications have been successfully approved for biometric capture, production and issuance, 35 per cent awaits approval, 11 per cent made payments but yet to book appointments and only four per cent of total applications were queried.
“When queries are successfully answered, the applications return to the queue and are subsequently approved for biometric acquisition, production and issuance.
Speaking on NIS introduction of automated passport application process, the Immigration boss said the method has been on ground and only got upgraded to keep in touch with the constantly changing digital age.
“The major difference now is that supporting documents are now uploaded online. It is a research-based decision and we have been recording successes.
“As of this morning (yesterday), we have only recorded four per cent rejection of uploaded documents which may be due to errors on the side of the applicant. But our help desk is operational 24/7.
“The Nigeria Immigration Service, our technical partners, service providers and other stakeholders worked together with the Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, to come up with this reform on the automation of passport process which has been in place since the inception of the issuance of enhanced e-passport in 2020,” she explained.
The automated passport application process makes it possible for Nigerians to apply and complete their passport application process online without human contact, Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo confirmed earlier in January.
“Part of the reforms we are putting in place now is that when you want to enroll for your passport you fill your forms online, you make your payment online, you upload your passport photographs and other supporting documents from the comfort of your homes,” the Interior Minister said.
With the new automated system, Nigerians will only need to visit immigration centres for fingerprint biometrics.
The process aims to ease the application process, and reduce direct human contact which has over the years, posed challenges, including extortion, for applicants. The process will also help to easily identify fraudulent passport applications.