The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has disclosed that the next phase of the automation of Nigeria’s passport application is 99 per cent completed and will become operational in a week’s time.
The Minister who spoke on Tuesday in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today noted that Nigerians will only go to immigration centres to do fingerprint biometrics for their passports after the completion.
It would be recalled that the immediate past Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola while in office, piloted the paperless digitalization of passport application process.
The entire digitization of the passport application was scheduled for activation in phases.
During Aregbesola’s time in the office, applicants go online to apply, pay and book appointment for biometric capture online.
Osun Defender gathered that the next phase which was announced by the minister is for applicants to be able to load their documents before coming to the centre for biometric capture.
According to the Minister, Nigerians can upload their passport photographs and other supporting documents from the comfort of their homes with the new system.
The minister said, “We gave a date — December 2023. We are 99 per cent done. In fact, we have done the testing and we should be going live in the next week or thereabouts.
“This will ensure that what Nigerians need to do at an immigration centre is just fingerprint biometrics.
“Everything regarding pre-biometrics will be done in the comfort of your homes, including uploading passport photographs and supporting documents.
“They will have gone live about two weeks ago but I saw some errors when they came to do the presentation and I said no. We were talking about balancing national security and convenience.”
Speaking further, the minister disclosed that e-gate systems would be installed at international airports in the country by February 2024.
He said, “By February, all our international airports will have e-gates.
“Once you are a Nigerian coming to Nigeria, you have no business seeing an immigration officer except if you are a person of interest.”
Kazeem Badmus is a graduate of Mass Communication with years of experience. A professional in journalism and media writing, Kazeem prioritses accuracy and factual reportage of issues. He is also a dexterous finder of the truth with conscious delivery of unbiased and development oriented stories.