By Chioma Okezie-Okeh
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has assured applicants seeking to procure the Nigerian passports that they can do that from the comforts of their homes and offices.
The minister stated this on Thursday in Enugu while unveiling the enhanced electronic passport facility for the South-East.
He noted that with the seamless online option, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has enabled prospective passport applicants to sit in the comfort of their homes and offices and apply for any category of passport.
“It is so easy to apply online and applicants will only be required to come to the selected passport office on the appointment date for enrolment,” he said.
He maintained that the main aim for the introduction of online application and payment option is to eliminate all forms of passport racketeering, touting and clumsy processes.
He enjoined passport applicants to visit the NIS passport portal via passport.immigration.gov.ng to apply, complete the form, pay online and get appointment date for enrolment without assistance from anybody, stressing that many of such assistances tend to complicate the entire process.
He advised applicants to ensure that they have their National Identity Number (NIN) and be ready to supply verifiable documents to enable easy processing of their applications.
Earlier, the acting Comptroller General of Immigration Isah Jere Idris had stated that the enhanced epassport is the latest technology in passport production. The data page is polycarbonate and water-resistant. It has additional 25 security features over the ordinary electronic passport.
He maintained that with the unveiling of the enhanced passport and commissioning of the production centre in Enugu, all the five passport offices in the entire South East have been migrated to the enhanced passport platform.
He enjoined holders of the ordinary electronic passport not to worry, as the two documents are valid and running concurrently. He requested prospective applicants for the enhanced epassport to avoid giving out cash payments or patronising touts for assistance as the process is easy by simply visiting the passport portal to apply and pay.