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NIS creates record, issues 625K passports

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NIS creates record by issuing such number in less than 6 months

By Jeph Ajobaju, Chief Copy Editor

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Up to 625,000 passports were issued by mid-June this year alone by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in response to agitation by citizens who face frustration at home and abroad in their bid to acquire the travel document.

Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola said the enhanced e-passport is the real deal, a product of the latest technology in passport administration and issuance.

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He made the point at the launch of the new e-passport for Delta and Edo at the Passport Office Headquarters in Benin.

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“Our enhanced passport is the real deal in passport making. Today’s event is unique in many ways. The most important is making the enhanced e-passport available to the good people of Edo and Delta States.

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“The enhanced e-passport comes in various categories, including the 64-page 10-year validity passport which is quite convenient for frequent travellers. It is a product of the latest technology in passport administration and issuance,” Aregbesola explained, per a statement by his media aide Sola Fasure.

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“This year alone, we have received about 750,000 applications out of which we have provided 625,000.

“The difference could have been due to many reasons, including failure of applicants to provide the correct information about themselves and matching their data with NIN. We could not contact them because they applied through touts who provided their own addresses or wrong ones altogether.

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“But 625,000 is a huge and unprecedented figure, in less than half of the year, by any stretch of the imagination.”

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“President [Muhammadu] Buhari’s charge to us is explicit: make life easy as much as possible for every person you have to relate with and remove every hurdle hitherto in their way on getting business done,” Aregbesola added, per The Nation.

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“Last week, … Buhari expressed concern about a report that some Nigerians, especially those abroad, were unable to obtain their passports. I share this concern as well.

“I am asking, therefore, that the NIS do everything within its power to make this a thing of the past. Every Nigerian desirous of the travel document should be able to collect it within the stipulated time without any stress whatsoever.”

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Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki said the state will partner Abuja and the NIS in helping them to deliver on their mandates to Nigerians

“We would build in six months, by God’s grace, a passport centre in Auchi for the NIS so that they are able to service our citizens from that side of the state,” he promised.

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Acting NIS Comptroller General Idris Jere gave an assurance to Nigerians that they will get “a non-judgmental service at this centre in Benin. Our officers are well-trained and ready to discharge their duties professionally.

“Applicants are advised to ensure their NIN details are exactly the same with their passport application details to avoid a situation where the applications are unable to be processed due to a mismatch of data.”

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