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Immigration to overhaul passport procurement


BY Chris Burns

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said it is set to overhaul the process of procuring travelling passports by deploying cutting edge technology to reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks.
The Comptroller General of the NIS Muhammed Babandede said this while addressing officers of the service at the headquarters of the organization in Abuja.
According to a statement issued by the Spokesman for the service, Mr. Ekpedeme King the Comptroller General was quoted as saying that “the existing channels will be followed when treating applications for facilities but the difference is that it will be done electronically.”

Kings statement said that NIS would establish an electronic mail desk in the Comptroller’s office “that will be connected to all offices, while a chief superintendent of immigration has already been appointed as desk officer.”
Similarly, the statement reads, “ the CGI has delegated some of his responsibilities such as the approval of certain categories of passport applications to his deputies and assistants in order to reduce the work load for the CGI as well as facilitate the processing of passport.
“Also, the state governments will be expected to provide comptrollers in their states with the lists of state commissioners, and aides of their governors for verification. The comptrollers will confirm the eligibility of the applicants to the service headquarters. This reform is to facilitate the process of issuance of official/service passports as the approval would have been granted before they visit the dervice headquarters for biometric data acquisition.
“Babandede also stated that it is his desire to reform our processes down to the local government area level in order to promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria. For as we all know when the foreign investors bring their business to Nigeria they also provide employment opportunities for our teeming youths.
“He has set a timeline of two months to complete the reforms in passport administration.”

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