Scarcity of passport: House gives NIS 72hrs to issue booklets to applicants
The House also called for a review of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Ministry of Interior, the NIS, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc, and IRIS Smart Technologies Ltd.
“with a view to boosting capacity and development of more passport booklet production lines, ensuring better service delivery and that Nigerians get their international passports within 24 hours. of more passport booklet production lines, ensuring better service delivery and that Nigerians get their international passports within 24 hours.”
The directives were contained in a resolution the House passed at its plenary in Abuja on Thursday.
The session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the House Committees on Interior and Foreign Affairs to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.
The resolution was passed following a motion moved by Rep. Ugonna Ozurigbo, seeking an end to the scarcity of international passport booklets at Nigerian immigration offices both at home and in the Diaspora.
Leading the debate on the motion, the lawmaker recalled the untold hardship Nigerians were subjected to while applying for a passport. He noted that the travel document, which ordinarily should not take 48 hours to be issued to applicants, was usually delayed for days.
Ozurigbo told the House that as a result of the delay, many intending travelers either lost the opportunity or the purpose of the trip would have been defeated by the time the booklet was issued eventually. According to him, the sick, who are seeking to travel for urgent medical attention, are often the most affected by the scarcity of booklets and the delay at the immigration offices.