No fewer than 32,462 Nigerians have so far applied for international passports and uploaded their documents from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) site between January 8 and 21, 2024.
From the figure, about 15,113 have reportedly been approved for biometric capture and production, which is fifty per cent of the total application.
The summary of passport applications for the year 2024 was provided by the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Caroline Adepoju, during a working visit to Ikoyi and Alausa passport offices in Lagos. The visit was to see how things are working, regarding the introduction of the automated passport application process.
While briefing journalists at the end of the assessment tour, the NIS boss said of the 32,462 applications, 11,505 were awaiting approval, and 3,406 who made payment were yet to book appointments.
According to her, “from the 32,462 applications, 1,438 applications were queried for various reasons. 50 per cent of the total applications have been successfully approved for biometric capture, production and issuance, 35 per cent awaits approval, 11 per cent made payments but yet to book appointments and only four per cent of total applications were queried.
“When queries are successfully answered, the applications return to the queue and are subsequently approved for biometric acquisition, production and issuance,“ Adepoju said.
The NIS boss however noted that, the introduction of the automation of passport applications was not new, as she stated that: “The major difference now is that supporting documents are now uploaded online. It is a research-based decision and we have been recording successes.
“We have only recorded four per cent rejection of uploaded documents, which may be due to errors on the side of the applicants. But our help desk is operational 24/7.
“The Nigeria Immigration Service, our technical partners, service providers and other stakeholders worked together with the Minister of Interior to come up with this reform on the automation of passport process, which has been in place since the inception of the issuance of enhanced e-passport in 2020.”