The federal government through the acting comptroller general of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Caroline Adepoju, on Friday has declared a state of emergency on passport issuance.
Ms Adepoju said during her working visit to Lagos that there was an urgent need to address the challenges faced by Nigerians in obtaining international passports.
In a statement issued by the NIS spokesman, Tony Akuneme said the acting immigration chief inaugurated a state-of-the-art Visa on Arrival Lounge at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
The NIS boss used the event to announce a comprehensive plan of action to tackle the issues effectively.
She said the facility was a demonstration of the NIS’ commitment to improving the overall travel experience for visitors entering Nigeria.
According to her, the state of emergency declaration on Passport issues signifies the renewed commitment of NIS to resolve the challenges faced by Nigerians seeking to obtain passports.
“It represents a call to action for all stakeholders to prioritise efficiency, transparency, and excellence in service delivery,” she said.
Ms Adepoju directed all passport control officers, relevant units and personnel, including Missions abroad, to eliminate all hindrances preventing Nigerians from accessing Passports promptly.
“NIS is leveraging technology and instituting robust administrative measures to enhance the passport application and issuance process. We urge all Nigerians to remain patient and cooperate with the service as it takes decisive steps to address the Passport crisis,” she said.
Ms Adepoju assured the public that the effort was to ensure that every eligible Nigerian who required a Passport could obtain one promptly.
Ms Adepoju also paid an unscheduled visit to the Alausa passport office to assess the situation firsthand.
In her address, she emphasised the necessity to dismantle all artificial bottlenecks impeding the passport application process. She stressed that the NIS management was fully committed to addressing institutional and technology-based drawbacks to ensure more efficient and streamlined service delivery.
Also, Ms Adepoju, who recognised the importance of collaboration and community engagement, embarked on a grassroots sensitisation initiative targeting traditional rulers.
She visited the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu and sought the cooperation of traditional rulers nationwide in NIS activities, including preventing human trafficking.