Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said that Nigerians can now have their own international passport within 72hrs with the newly opened Maitama Passport Express Centre (MPEC)
The Minister, who dropped this hint while speaking at the opening of the centre in Maitama, Abuja during the week stated that opening of the centre, signified the inauguration of the Passport Issuance decentralization policy of the present administration in the country.
Ogbeni Aregbesola emphasized that it “is a first of many more to be established in every local government area in Nigeria and designed to offer specialized services to Nigerians”.
“The passport should be available in maximum of 72 hours of a successful application. Where there are issues, the applicant must be notified within 48 hours”, saying, ” the commencement of the operations of this world class facility will not only offer Nigerians services of convenience and pleasure by taking away the hitherto stress in the conventional passport offices”, he said.
The Minister added, “MPEC is in response to the yearnings of the general public for the Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service to devise additional ways that the Passport Issuance process can be less stressful and more efficient”.
“It is the future. The goal is to have a facility like this in every local government in the country. Every Nigerian has the right to a Nigerian passport and it is our responsibility to put it in the hands of anyone desirous of it within the shortest possible time, without stress. It will also afford Nigerians the opportunity of getting their Passports within 24 hours, at the high premium service and 72 hours at the ordinary premium service, albeit with added value and a little bit of extra cost.”
The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, ( NIS) , Mr Muhammad Babandede while speaking said the inauguration of the Express Centre was a step towards solving the problems associated with Passport administration.
“The Maitama Passport Express Centre (MPEC) is therefore, established to provide expedite and guaranteed service for applicants willing to pay a premium for prompt and convenient service. The centre will be non-judgmental and has provision for large comfortable VIP lounge, refreshment, queue management system and other necessary facilities to ensure comfort and speedy delivery of quality service”, he said.
The NIS Comptroller General added, “this centre will have a dedicated National Identity Number (NIN), registration unit and cater to the complete passport issuance process from enrolment to production for only Fresh and Re-issue passport applications. Other categories of passport applications including change of data, replacement of damaged, lost/stolen passport and others shall continue to be processed at the Service Headquarters and other approved passport issuing authorities,”
” In line with its statutory mandate, NIS last week posted out the entire staff of Amana Passport Office for negligence and complexity in passport administration”, adding that many of its officers were dismissed, deranked and some are facing disciplinary procedures for corrupt practices and loss of passport booklets.”
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