FG to start home delivery of passports in June

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

The Federal Government assured that in June, the home delivery of passports would start making it unnecessary for Nigerians to go to an immigration office before obtaining a passport.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, during an inspection of the electronic gates at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport’s new terminal on Friday in Abuja, according to Nairametrics.

Tunji-Ojo said that in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Abuja, the Nigerian Immigration Service would start the home delivery service.

According to the Minister, the home delivery service will initially be launched in the United States and the United Kingdom, with a preliminary test to ensure its effectiveness, for Nigerians in the diaspora.

He explained that the lack of data centres is to blame for the delay in implementing the home delivery service.

He pointed out that the NIS relied on a data centre run by an independent company, and stressed the need to solve this problem as a matter of urgency.

He said, “We have completed the whole solution but when we came on board, we realised that the data centre was not really there. We were leveraging on a private company data centre and we appreciate them for that assistance. We think that it is better to create a permanent solution to problems rather than quick fixes.

“We could have done it in February but we had to build our data centre from scratch to be able to keep the integrity of our data and national security intact. This is more important. It is disgraceful that NIS is 61 years old and NIS is a custodian of biometric data of Nigeria and we believe that NIS should be in charge of the data of Nigeria.

“It is not acceptable that this data is domiciled in a third party and that is why we have been able to do this.’’

However, Tunji-Ojo stated that the data center had been set up and passport delivery problems were resolved.

He said, “It is about national security and I can assure you that It is comparable with anyone you can find anywhere in the world.

“We have built the data centre, sorted the passport delivery solution, and done the final presentation in terms of technology deliverables and the tracking solution which will all be embedded in the application we have so we do not create multiple lines of failure.’’

The Minister noted that the final presentation of electronic visas has been completed, which will reduce the processing period for visa applications from 72 to 48 hours.

“The passport automation process is almost complete,” he added.

Recall that in October 2023, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Tunji Olanipekun, announced that from February 2024, Nigerians would be able to have their passports delivered to their homes, offices, or any other place of their choice.

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