The surge in the desire of Nigerians to seek opportunities abroad peaked in the beginning of the new year, with 32,462 individuals having applied for international passports and submitted their documents through the Nigeria Immigration Service website from January 8 to 21, 2024.
Among these applications, 15,113 have reportedly received approval for biometric capture and production, constituting fifty percent of the total applications.
The details of the passport applications for the year 2024 were disclosed by Caroline Adepoju, the Comptroller-General of the Immigration Service. She shared this information during her visit to the Ikoyi and Alausa passport offices to assess the implementation of the automated passport application process.
Addressing reporters at the conclusion of her evaluation, Adepoju revealed that out of the 32,462 applications, 11,505 were pending approval, and 3,406 individuals who had made payments were yet to schedule appointments. Additionally, 1,438 applications were subject to queries for various reasons.
Adepoju said, “50 per cent of the total applications have been successfully approved for biometric capture, production and issuance, 35 per cent awaits approval, 11 per cent made payments but yet to book appointments and only four per cent of total applications were queried.
“When queries are successfully answered, the applications return to the queue and are subsequently approved for biometric acquisition, production and issuance “.
Adepoju, who noted that the introduction of the automation of passport applications was not new, clarified that further: “The major difference now is that supporting documents are now uploaded online. It is a research-based decision and we have been recording successes.
“As of this morning (yesterday), we have only recorded four per cent rejection of uploaded documents which may be due to errors on the side of the applicant. But our help desk is operational 24/7.
“The Nigeria Immigration Service, our technical partners, service providers and other stakeholders worked together with the Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, to come up with this reform on the automation of passport process which has been in place since the inception of the issuance of enhanced e-passport in 2020.”