Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, has directed the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to produce the international passport to eligible applicants within 48 hours.
The minister made this known on Friday during the agency’s management retreat in Lagos.
Aregbesola said doing that will make Nigeria a preferred destination for investors and visitors.
He also lamented the unpleasant experiences many applicants are subjected to before they obtain passports.
“From information available to me, it is possible with the right technology in place for Nigeria Immigration Service to issue international passports to applicants who have paid the official fees after forty eight hours,” the minister said.
“One of the ways to achieve this is to deploy the right technology and eliminate human contact in the passport issuance process. This way, we eliminate sharp practices and racketeering built around the process. This is the way to go and all officials should shun all forms of corruption in the discharge of their duties.
“All officers of the Service must as a matter of urgency, embrace the digital tradition and be technology/computer compliant, particularly at the senior and management level.
“Our officers must shun all forms of corruption through openness and transparency in the discharge of their duties.”
The minister asked the service to reduce human interface and endeavour to communicate with applicants if there is a delay in their passport processing.
“Should there be justifiable delay in delivering on this commitment, there must be a mechanism to communicate, such reasons (s) within a period as agreed in the retreat to such applicant for the passport which must not be later than 72 hours, after discovering such reason,” Aregbesola said.
“With technology, it is possible to process and obtain the passport within 48 hours, if the application does not have any issues. Nigerian passport should be available within 48 hours maximum after application and at the official fee, the same goes for entry visa, resident permit, seamen license, as well as application and processing of other services.”