Minister of interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has launched a new automated fast passport processing centre aimed to eradicate challenges Nigerians face in the administration of passport in Nigeria.
The centre, Maitama Passport Express Centre (MPEC) in Abuja which was established in partnership with IRIS Smart Technology is to run on premium service delivery to Nigerians who desire to obtain passport within 24hrs after successful applications.
While commissioning the centre, Aregbesola said the establishment of a the passport processing centre was in concordance with the Executive Order 1 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017 designed to aid ease of doing business in Nigeria and as well in response to the yearning of Nigerians to ease the stress of passport processing in and administration in Nigeria.
The minister noted that the new centre was designed toward eliminating any form of corrupt practices in the issuance of passports and minimise human contact araising from Covid-19 Pandemic safety protocol, adding that it was in the vision of the Ministry and Immigration Services to build such centre in every local government to suit the necessity of passport application in the various regions of Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Services, Muhammad Babandede said the centre which is run by private firm would charge N20,000 for normal applicant willing to collect the booklet in 3 days or N30,000 for 24 hour service while the price for the traditional passport issuance at the Immigration centers remain the same. He announced that the entire staff of Amana Passport Office were posted out for negligence complexity in passport administration with many officers dismissed, de-ranked and others facing disciplinary procedures for corrupt practices and loss of passport booklets.
According to the CG, “the centre will be non-judgmental and has provision for large comfortable VIP lounge, refreshment, queue management system and other necessary facilities to ensure comfort and speedy delivery of quality service. This Centre will have a dedicated National Identity Number (NIN) registration unit and cater to the complete passport issuance process from enrolment to production for only Fresh and Re-issue passport applications”.
Other categories of passport applications including Change of Data, Replacement of Damaged, Lost/Stolen passport etc. shall continue to be processed at the Service Headquarters and other approved passport issuing authorities. We acknowledge and apologize for the challenges faced in the past few weeks regarding passport booklets availability. I am glad to inform you that booklets are now available and are being distributed to all our passport issuing centres. We therefore appeal for little more patience from passport applicants to enable the passport offices clear the pending backlog.”