The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, announced the launch of an automated passport application system within the next week.
The minister during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Tuesday, exuding confidence, assured citizens that this technological leap would streamline the passport acquisition process.
“In fact, we’ve done the testing and we should be going live in the next one week or thereabout. As I said, that will ensure that Nigerians, all they need to do in an immigration centre, a passport centre, is just biometrics, just to take your fingerprints, that’s all,” Tunji-Ojo confirmed during the interview.
Responding to queries about the possibility of completing the application from home, the minister affirmed, “Of course!” He elaborated that the process would involve uploading passport photos and necessary documents, marking a shift towards a more convenient and accessible system.
The minister highlighted the government’s commitment to striking a balance between national security and ease of service.
“We’re talking about balancing national security as well as convenience. There must be a middle point. You cannot bring discomfort on the basis of enhancement of security. You must find a meeting point of both security and comfort,” he emphasized.
Expanding on the advancements in travel technology, Tunji-Ojo also disclosed plans to implement e-gates in all Nigerian international airports by February 2024. He outlined a vision where Nigerian travelers would bypass immigration officers, except in cases of specific scrutiny.
“Once you’re Nigerian and you’re coming to Nigeria, you will have no business seeing an immigration officer, except if you’re a person of interest,” the minister asserted.
The launch of the automated passport application system signals a monumental step towards modernizing bureaucratic processes and enhancing efficiency in Nigeria’s immigration system, promising a future where citizens can navigate passport acquisition with ease and speed.