Senate to probe passport issuance, renewal delay - AMEBO NEWSPAPERS NG.


"Feeding the world with authentic news from the source....."

View My Stats


Review Widget

Senate to probe passport issuance, renewal delay

Share This

The Senate has directed its Committee on the Interior to urgently investigate the circumstances leading to the delay of issuance and renewal of the Nigeria passport by the Nigerian Immigration Services.

The Upper Chamber also mandated the committee to investigate the contract award for the production of passports and revert to it on the findings from its investigation within two weeks.

The Senate’s resolution followed the adoption of a motion on the “Delay on issuance, renewal of Nigeria International Passport” by the Nigerian Immigration Services at plenary on Tuesday and was sponsored by the senator representing Anambra Central, Uche Ekwunife.

Ekwunife in her lead debate said the delay in the renewal of Nigeria’s passport by the NIS was resulting in untold hardships for Nigerians who need to travel out of the country or return to the country.

She said, “The passport is an official identity document issued to Nigerians for the purpose of travelling out and into the country in exercise of their rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement.

“Many Nigerians are still facing challenges with passport processing, despite the six-week timeline of processing passports given by the Federal Government barely a year ago.”

According to Ekwunife, currently, new applicants and those who want their passports renewed spend between three and six months processing their application at the offices of the Nigerian Immigration Services and Nigeria embassies outside the country.

She added, “Getting an appointment for biometric capturing at the passport offices now takes between five and eight weeks, while it takes many applicants four months waiting for their passports to be ready for collection after the biometric exercise.

“It has also become extremely difficult for passports to be processed across the entire Nigeria Immigration offices in different states, especially Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.”

This, she noted, was forcing the applicants to travel to various locations to get their passports renewed.

“The international students are also finding it very difficult to renew their passports to enable them to travel back to reunite with their families,” she said.

Similarly, Gershom Bassey (PDP-Cross-River), who seconded the motion, said the issuance of a passport was the right of every Nigerian.

He expressed concern that the idea of delay in the issuance of passports was almost becoming a controversy and not in the best interest of Nigerians.

Corroborating her colleagues, Biodun Olujumi (PDP-Ekiti) said the motion was timely, saying that it was important to resolve the issue as that was not the situation in the past when passports were issued within two to three days.

She said it was embarrassing to Nigerians that applicants would need to wait six to eight months for the passport to be issued.

In his comments, Adamu Bulkachuwa (PDP-Bauchi), however, said the motion had come too late as the matter should have been presented earlier before the Senate.

Bulkachuwa said, “I had experienced a similar delay when I applied for a renewal of my passport as Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.”

According to him, it took five weeks for him to be issued his passport after his biometric exercise.

The Senate, also in its other resolution on the motion, mandated its committee to investigate the contract award for the printing of passports.

The Interior Committee was directed to report back to the House the outcome of its investigation within two weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment