House of Reps gives NIS 72 hours to issue passports to waiting applicants

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The House of Representatives has passed a resolution, directing the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to, within 72 hours, issue international passports to Nigerians who have applied, paid, and have been captured but are yet to be issued their booklets.

The House also, on Thursday, urged the Federal Ministry of Interior and the NIS to review its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc and IRIS Smart Technologies Limited with a view to boosting capacity and development of more Passport booklet production lines.

Its committees on Interior and Foreign Affairs have been mandated to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks.

This came following a motion brought up by Honourable Ugonna Ozurigbo, calling for an end to the perennial scarcity of booklets for the production of Nigeria’s international passport.

He expressed concern that “most Nigerians who have applied for International Passports and fulfilled all the requirements are constrained to wait endlessly for their international passports, which ordinarily takes less than 48 hours to be issued, a situation that is causing untold hardship on Nigerians with urgent needs to travel out of the country.”

According to him, “Nigerians who are on medical referrals outside the country are developing needless health complications while waiting for their passports to be issued while those for urgent business trips, conferences, etc. have missed rewarding business opportunities due to the unavailability of passport booklets to enable them to travel.”

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