The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, speaking with the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, and Management Staff of the Commission in Abuja on Thursday/Photo: Dolapo Ogundiran

Nigeria to clear backlog of passport applications soon – Minister

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has been quoted as having assured that the backlog of passport application and issuance would be cleared latest by 31 May 2021.

In a statement issued by Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations and Protocol Department of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), the minister made the pledge when he received Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO of the Commission in Abuja.

Aregbesola emphasised that the Nigerian Passport was the strongest instrument of Sovereignty, Nationality and Citizenship, , adding that “whoever holds a Nigerian Passport is a bonifade Citizen who must be treated with dignity and respect”.

The minister stressed that a regime of not more than 72-hour Express Passport Processing was underway, explaining that the Ministry of Interior had introduced sweeping reforms on passport application and issuance.

The Minister also applauded NIDCOM for her giant strides so far describing the Commission as, “a veritable tool for strong and worthy engagement with the Nigerian Diaspora.”

On her part, Ms Dabiri-Erewa commended the minister’s efforts in making the passport application and issuance process seamless as well as the 10-Year Validity period as first of its kind in Nigeria.

The NIDCOM head said, “this is cheering news for Nigerians in the Diaspora as they need not bother to renew their passport for ten years“. She said the Covid-19 restrictions which hampered issuance of passports to Nigerians abroad affected a lot of them in different ways and commended the interior ministry for measures taken to clear the backlog

Nigerians living in the diaspora are facing difficulties obtaining new passports from the country’s diplomatic missions in many countries and this has caused those affected a lot of difficulties.

Kola Tella

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