FG inaugurates new passport office in Lagos to ‘address shortage gap’


Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, on Monday, inaugurated a passport front office in the Alimosho area of Lagos.


The office was established by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to further ease application, processing, and collection of the Nigerian international passport.


In a statement by Anthony Akuneme, NIS public relations officer, Aregbesola said no less than additional 14 passport front offices would be created in Lagos because the state accounts for 50 percent of all applications across the country.


Speaking further on the significance, the minister said the office will “address shortage gap” and decongest traffic at the Ikoyi, Festac and Alausa centres, adding that the federal government may consider a public-private partnership arrangement for more passport front offices in the state.


 “We certainly need more of this in Lagos. This is because half of all passport applications are made in Lagos. At no time are less than 100,000 applicants from Lagos on the NIS portal applying for passports,” he said.


“We will therefore need not less than 15 of these front offices in Lagos alone, to be able to cut the application waiting period to one week.


“Due to funding constraints, the government might consider public-private partnership arrangement to set up more passport front offices as part of other steps to deal with the challenges in urban centres where applications for passports are unusually high.”


On his part, Jere Idris, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), described the office as a “legacy project” that will bring efficient services to Lagos and its environs.


“There is a need to continue to expand the infrastructure like what we are doing here today,” he said.


“We are privileged to be witnessing the commissioning and take-off of this legacy project by the honourable minister of interior, Rauf Aregbosola, the purpose of which is to decongest traffic at the Ikoyi, Festac, and Alausa passport offices and bring services closer to indigenes of the largest local government area in Lagos state and its environs.


“The passport office remains a no-go-area for touts, passport racketeers, fake breeder documents harvesters and all sorts of undesirable elements.


“I wish to warn that the long arm of the law and its full force will be visited on any person who by an act of commission or omission infringes on the passport offences as stipulated in section 10(1a-h) of the Immigration Act, 2015.”


The event also featured the inauguration of the newly-constructed Lagos command headquarters of the NIS at the Alagbon close, Ikoyi.

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