The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has said Nigerians will have their passport delivered to homes, places of business, and other locations of their choice from February 2024.
At the University of Lagos’ International Week’s opening event on Monday, headlined “Breaking the Borders of Partnership,” Tunji-Ojo said Nigerians would be able to submit their applications online by January of the following year.
He said, “We have commenced the automation of our end-to-end passport application process, and we have given a timeline from which Nigerians will begin to experience the “sweet experience.”
“By implication, Nigerians will not need to wait longer than two weeks before they get their passport. By January next year, Nigerians will be able to complete this application process online, and by February next year, with collaboration and partnership with other relevant stakeholders, Nigerians will have their passports delivered to their homes, offices, and other locations of their choice.
“This, of course, would be extended to our visa application process. We are deploying technology throughout the entire process to make it as seamless as possible. To achieve this, we have set everything into motion to open 12 more visa application centres across the world. In this regard, we are also working on strengthening our visa-on-arrival policy. We are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to enforce the principle of reciprocity, and a committee has been set up in the ministry to achieve this.”
He bemoaned the duplication of identity number registration across the nation, including the bank’s BVN, the NIN on an international passport, and telecos’ SIM card registration.
Tunji-Ojo disclosed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had ordered the unification of the nation’s multiple identifying numbers.
He continued by saying that the standardisation of data would restore the integrity of travel documents.
“Identity is who we are, what we are, and what we live for. But today, what we have is a duplication of our registration. We have the BVN in the bank, the international passport, the NIN, SIM card registration by telecos, and so on, all of which request your data. The integrity of our travel documents must be restored through the harmonisation of our data.
“We have the directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, under the Renewed Hope Agenda, to harmonise the country’s database. When we harmonise our data, there will be an exchange amongst agencies such that when our people need data for passport and visa applications, or BVN, with their NIN, their data can be pulled out. This will not only save us stress, cost, and energy but also help us optimise our processes and the country’s security architecture.”