The International Passport is a Right not Privilege of Nigerians – Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister for Interior
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has mandated that no Nigerian should wait for more than two weeks before collecting their passport.
Tunji-Ojo made this known while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Tuesday.
The Minister of Interior also promised that all passport backlogs will be cleared in no more than two weeks, noting that owning a green passport is a right and not a privilege for Nigerians.
Tunji-Ojo decried the way Nigerians experience disrespect when they have to undergo the process of applying for their passports.
He therefore assured Nigerians that there is an ongoing conversation with Nigerian Immigration Service to digitise and centralise passport issuance and renewal process.
The Minister said “clearing all backlogs shouldn’t take more than two weeks.
“The scarcity and delay around fresh passport issuance and renewal fuelled corruption in the sector.
“After clearing these backlogs, no Nigerian should wait for more than two weeks,” he stressed.
“It’s a right and not a privilege, Nigerians want that right to be actually theirs, not by somebody offering you your right.”
According to him, it is not excusable for any Nigerian to be treated disrespectfully because of a passport application.
“What Nigerians want to see is solutions, and that is what the President has constantly told us… No excuses.
“In line with the directive of Mr. President, it can no longer be business as usual.
“We have critically analysed all these scenarios – from going online to fill the form to the point of payment, to the point of picking a date, to the point of biometrics, to the point of issuance of passports. And we understand the service providers involved and have seen one or two things to put right.
“We have to digitise and we also have to decentralise the whole enrolment system and make it (possible) for people to walk into the nearest post office, people can walk into may be financial institutions and some many other ways. We are still playing with so many ideas.”