By Abayomi Elias

NIS logo and CG Caroline Wura-Ola Adepoju (fsi)

In its explanation to the citizen of reported inaccuracies in a publication by This day Newspaper of January 21,2024 titled Nigerians Groan Under News Passport Automation Process, Nigeria immigration Service has issued a rejoinder in correcting the wrong notions ditched to the public by the news platform.

Newsconnect reports that during the inspection tour of the Comptroller General of NIS Caroline Wura-Ola Adepoju (fsi) to Ikoyi and Ikeja passport office on January 22nd, 2024, the CG issued a rejoinder to the aforesaid publication at the same time responded to questions asked by gentlemen of the press after her inspection.

Caroline said;

“While we are aware that the reform in the passport application process may require sometime to be fully acceptable by all, we want to use this medium to state that automation of passport application is not novel in the NIS. We also wish, to reiterate that the objectives of the form are to;

i Reduce human interference, which has been a source of complaints from applicants who have experienced extortion by persons during application;

ii Ease passports application process without compromising National Security

iii Have a harmonised data base of our Applicants

iv Modernise the entire passport application process.

“While we plead with our citizens to be patient and allow us to ensure the perfection of the process, we also wish to explain that some of the contents of the publication are not true. This rejoinder is aimed at correcting the wrong notions given to the Public”. She said.

Below is the full details of the rejoinder

  1. That Nigerians Groan Under the new passport automation process.

Response: The truth is that the decision to introduce the automation of passport application is not new. 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 at this morning, we have only recorded 4% rejection of uploaded documents which may be due to errors on the side of the applicant. Our help desk is operational 24/7 and we respond to inquiries.

  1. That the passport automation process recently introduced by the Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo is ill-advised and ill-timed.

Response: The true position is that the Nigeria Immigration service, our technical partners, service providers and other stakeholders worked together with the honourable Minister to come up with this reform on the automation of passport process which had been in place since the inception of the issuance of enhanced e-passport in 2020. Both the Honourable Minister and the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service receive calls almost on daily basis for full automation of the passports applications process, especially from our citizen in diaspora. To understand this, consider the scenario of a family of five or six, resident in Winnipeg, in Manitoba or Victoria in British Columbia, Canada who need to renew their passports. These people will need to travel to Ottawa, Ontario, the only passports issuing center in Canada. Considering the cost of flying, hotel accomodation sometimes for several days and other inconveniences, you will agree that there Is a need for a reform. It is same for Nigerians residing in Scotland, Manchester and Birmingham who must travel long distances to London, U.K to obtain their passports. When the full automation of the application is achieved, only fresh applicants would have to go to the passport offices for their biometric data capturing since we have an efficient and robust data collection system in place. This scenario is applicable to every prospective applicants who might be living far away from the passports issuing centers. This will save time and cost both of the applicants and the service.

  1. That some of the aspects of the technological development were counterproductive as the new system made it impossible for applicants to be assisted by immigration officers.

Response: The truth is that we have put in place an official help desk. The contact information is available on our website. Technology is to enhance our service. Everyone will find it friendly with time.

  1. That some applicants do not know the meaning of ICAO

Response: ICAO means International Civil Aviation Organisation. It is an international body which is responsible for providing guidelines in aviation related matters and passport administration. Their role includes providing specifications of acceptable travel documents in order to prevent and detect document fraud, and identity theft. The exact specifications of required passport sized photos are spelt out on our website.

  1. That half of the passport centers had less than four hours of supply of power.

Currently, all passports issuing centers are provided with power generators. The President Bola Ahmed led administration has made special intervention funds available for the provision of solar power supply systems which will be deployed from this month. The Ikoyi passport office is already powered by by the solar source, courtesy of the Elumelu foundation.

  1. That the process of acquiring a new international passport makes it mandatory for all adults to obtain the 10-year booklet which costs about N85,000.00

Response: The truth is that citizens still have the option of either the 5 year passport which costs N35,000 or the 10-year option for N70,000

  1. Comment of a “Senior officer” on required training, Sensitisation and support system

Reaponse: This is unprofessional and unofficial. No disciplined officer is expected to address the press without the express permission and briefing of CGIS.

  1. Comments on screening of foreigners and adoption

Response: Screening is a back end job of the NIS. It is adequately taken care of. All cases if child adoption and the related passports applications are handled in the Headquarters to ensure that all cases are treated on merits.

Finally, the innovation is a collective decision of all stakeholders in passport administration. These include The Ministry on Interior, The Nigeria Immigration Service, The National Identity Management Commission and The Technical Advisers and Service Providers. Before we brought this to bear live, we also invited some members of the public and NGO’s to critique the process.

What we all require is an open mind, the will to see this process succeed. The Nigeria Immigration service is committed, more than ever before to make passport acquisition easy, secure and timely.


From the go-live day (January 8th 2024) about 32,462 have been able to successfully apply, upload their documents and make payments of these number 16, 113 have been approved for biometric capture and production, 11,505 awaits approval , 3, 406 have made payments but yet to book appointments, 1,438 application have been queried for various reasons.

By implications, 50% of the total applications have been successfully approved for biometric capture, production and issuance , 35% awaits approval , 11% made payments but yet to book appointments, and only 4% of total applications return to to the queue and subsequently approved for biometric acquisition, production and issuance.

By News Connect Online

News Connect Online is a grassroot advocacy news platform established to promote development and peace through efficient and effective reportage across all beats. Beat: Education, Entertainment Environment Energy Business Health, Sport, Foreign News, Advocacy, Tourism, Transportation

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