The Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Caroline Wura-Ola Adepoju, has declared a state of emergency on passport issues in Nigeria. The announcement came during her visit to Lagos, where she expressed the urgent need to address the challenges faced by Nigerians in obtaining passports, and declared a comprehensive plan of action to tackle these issues effectively.
In a statement released by the Comptroller in charge of Media and Publicity, Tony Akuneme, Mrs Adepoju’s visit to Lagos “encompassed significant events that underscored the gravity of the passport crisis.” During her visit, the Acting CGI inaugurated a state-of-the-art visa on arrival lounge at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, demonstrating her commitment to improving the overall travel experience for visitors entering Nigeria.
Following this, she paid an unscheduled visit to the Alausa Passport office to assess the situation firsthand. During her address, Mrs Adepoju emphasized the necessity to dismantle all man-made bottlenecks that impede the passport application process. She further stressed that the NIS top management is fully committed to addressing institutional and technology-based drawbacks to ensure a more efficient and streamlined service delivery.
The Acting CGI recognized the importance of collaboration and community engagement, and embarked on a grassroots sensitization initiative targeting traditional rulers. She commenced this effort with a visit to the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, seeking the cooperation of traditional rulers in raising awareness about the menace of human trafficking and initiating joint efforts to combat this grave issue.
The state of emergency declaration on passport issues signifies the renewed commitment of NIS to resolving the challenges faced by Nigerians seeking to obtain passports. It represents a call to action for all stakeholders to prioritize efficiency, transparency, and excellence in service delivery.
Mrs Adepoju had earlier directed all Passport Control Officers, relevant units and personnel within the NIS including our Missions abroad, to work tirelessly towards eliminating all hindrances preventing Nigerians from accessing passports promptly. The NIS is leveraging technology and instituting robust administrative measures to enhance the passport application and issuance process.
In the statement released by Mr Akuneme, the Acting CGI urged all Nigerians to remain patient and cooperate with the NIS as it takes decisive steps to address the passport crisis. She has assured the public that efforts are being made to ensure that every eligible Nigerian who requires a passport can obtain one in a timely manner.