The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said on Sunday the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) would soon start issuing passports to applicants in the 774 local government areas in the country within 72 hours.
The minister, according to a statement issued by his media aide, stated this when he addressed journalists at the inauguration of the newly established Maitama Passport Express Centre, Abuja.
He said the establishment of the centre was in response to the yearnings of the general public for the ministry and NIS to devise more efficient ways of processing the passports.
He said: “It is the future. The goal is to have a facility like this in every local government in the country.
“Every Nigerian has the right to a Nigerian passport and it is our responsibility to put it in the hands of anyone desirous of it within the shortest possible time, without stress. The passport should be available within a maximum of 72 hours of a successful application. Where there are issues, the applicant must be notified within 48 hours.
“The commencement of the operations of this world-class facility will not only offer Nigerians services of convenience and pleasure by taking away the hitherto stress in the conventional passport offices, but it will also afford Nigerians the opportunity of getting their passports within 24 hours at the high premium service and 72 hours at the ordinary premium service, albeit with added value and a little bit of extra cost.”
In his remarks, the Comptroller-General of NIS, Muhammad Babandede, said the inauguration of the express centre was a step towards solving the problems associated with passport administration in the country.