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Nigeria's Unending International Passport Procurement Blues


By Emeka Ozumba 

It is has become normal in Nigeria for every new Minister of Interior to come up with his/her own International passport policy. This time round, it is a new digital Passport- The Enhanced E-Passport. The process requires individual applicants to go online, fill out information details and upload digital passport photographs according to specifications. 

Would the new process stop the bottleneck at Passport offices or worsen the delays? 

We've seen the confusion over the years, worsened by moving passport booklet production from the respective Immigration commands to printing for states at zonal offices leading to further delays owing to limited copies available per state. 

It is not all bad news though! I must confess that we observed a seemless process in Anambra, Awka Passport Office during the Christmas period until onset of the new system clogged the space once more. 

Sometimes, one wonders why timing of  introduction of some new government policy initiative tend to suffer the very people it is meant to serve. Like the still-born Naira Redesign that cost Nigerians much discomforts in 2023, the new International Passport procurement process introduced by the Hon Minister of Interior, left many stranded after the Christmas holidays especially those who sought to renew their passports. 

Whereas moving the processing to the respective application through the online space may seem transparent and likely to checkmate touts. The fact that the printing of booklets at the zones leaves the state commands with limited booklet copies, still hands the impetus back to those who may have other ideas. Is the Hon Minister listening?

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