Nigerian Passport for travel and identification.

Nigerians in New York, United States, have written to Rauf Aregbesola, the minister of interior, over the lack of passport booklets in Nigerian consulates and the embassy in the country.

Driving the news 
Francis James, a board member of the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN, Inc.), and other leaders of 16 Nigerian associations jointly signed the letter in which they noted the aggravation that Nigerians had when trying to obtain passports.

Nigerians applying for passports at its missions in the U.S. are frustrated by the absence of passport booklets, according to a copy of the letter provided to newsmen in New York.

What they are saying 

  • According to news sources, OAN hosted a virtual Town Hall meeting on June 29 to examine the difficulties Nigerians had obtaining passports and to consider solutions.
  • According to James, OAN’s liaison to the Nigerian Consulate in New York, OAN called the meeting after learning that, prior to June 28, passport issuing at the Consulate in New York had been suspended for a period of four weeks.
  • The group decided that the three points from the discussion would be communicated in a letter to the interior minister and other important relevant officials.

Aregbesola, had on June 16 denied that there was a lack of passport booklets in Nigeria, claiming that the nation was facing “people issues.”

Their points
“We are asking your Excellency to collaborate with Geoffrey Onyeama, the minister of foreign affairs, to help facilitate the procurement of sufficient passport booklets. This will enable the Consulate in New York to clear the backlogs at all processing locations and ensure that Passport processing from application to issuance is completed within a reasonable time frame of not more than three months.

“The ministry should expand the number of available appointments on the central portal to at least 100 each day, or to the number each Embassy or Consulate has the capacity to handle.

“It should also hold Innovate1, the vendor managing the payment portal, accountable to improve their service and deliver a more customer friendly platform to Nigerians.’’ it stated.

The Consulate’s response
An officer at the consulate confirmed the development and, on condition of anonymity, informed newsmen that the mission had received 2,000 booklets on June 29 and had promptly resumed issuing passports after a four-week hiatus.

The source attested that the consulate needed to remove 7,000 passports from its backlog and that a constant supply of 2,500 passport booklets each month would be sufficient to serve its residents in New York.

The source states that the consulate typically receives 1,000 booklets every month, but occasionally only receives 500, adding that the delay is caused by a lack of booklets.

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