Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister of Interior, has stated that the ministry under his supervision is planning to establish new passport processing and collection centres, particularly for Nigerians in the Diaspora, in order to reduce crowding at already established centres and to expedite service operations in the country and in the Diaspora.
According to a statement signed by Gabriel Odu, Media, Public Relations, and Protocols Unit, NIDCOM, Tunji-Ojo made the announcement at the recently concluded sixth edition of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit in Abuja, which was co-hosted by the Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the Nigeria Diaspora Summit Initiative (NDSI).
Speaking at the summit themed “New Vistas, New Aspirations, New Opportunities: The Diaspora and National Development”, Tunji-Ojo pledged that “Nigerians, especially Diaspora Nigerians, are to enjoy a seamless passport process and issuance system.”
The Minister also stated that a fully biometric immigration application process, similar to what is available in most other countries, is being developed to decrease human touch and facilitate passport collection by February 2024.
According to him, “Nigerians at home and in the diaspora deserve the best. They don’t have to suffer or sweat to get the Nigerian passport.”
The Interior Minister also stated that a ministry team will begin oversight of the E8 mandate in the United Kingdom as the first place on the assignment.
He asked the people, however, to report any unethical behaviour by staff in the Ministry and its parastatals as a deterrent to curbing the issue of corruption in the system and increasing the effectiveness of service delivery to Nigerians.
Tunji-Ojo, whose goodwill message was met with loud applause, assured Nigerians that positive changes would begin before February 2024.
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, NIDCOM, commended the Minister for his positive disposition towards the plight of Nigerians in the Diaspora, particularly with passport issuance.