The Nigerian Immigration Service, under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior, has launched a new website portal that will enable citizens at home and in the diaspora to book appointments to acquire a Nigerian passport, make payments and get a date for data from the comfort of their homes.
According to Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, this is an integral part of the process to accelerate the Nigerian passport collection process, ensure a proper verification process, reduce the pressure on its agencies as well as ensure a fully automated system of passport application in the country.
“With what we have done now, we have reduced the process of requesting for a passport to about six minutes. This does not require anybody to visit the immigration office and it will reduce the pressure on the immigration officers”, he explained.
The new portal will become the online channel for applications for new passports, renewals and other passport-related matters going forward. The portal will be live from today, Monday 8th, January 2024. And, it will only be open for applications for Nigerians living in Nigeria at inception.
Dr Tunji-Ojo promised that the portal would be opened to users across the globe subsequently following a successful experience in Nigeria. He also noted that the project’s second phase which will include a contactless data verification structure will be launched in March. This will allow users to do their capturing on the portal, from the comfort of their homes.
“For the next two months, applicants on the portal will still have to visit our offices for their data capturing. But, from March, this will no longer be necessary. They will be able to upload some biometrics online for verification purposes against their NIN data. This will be especially useful for our people in the diaspora”, he explained.
This cover also for the ability to travel applications for Nigerians living in the diaspora.
Demonstration to stakeholders
The application process through the portal was demonstrated at a session with stakeholders in Abuja over the weekend. The session enabled the attendees to have first-hand experience of the portal and provide valuable feedback.
Attendees include the Chairman, of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa; representative of the International Organisation for Migration, Stephen Matete; Country Manager, of Development Alternatives Incorporated, DrJoe Abah; Founder, of Kwandala Foundation, Tijjani Musa, and the Co-founder, Technext, David Afolayan.
How this works
Going forward, citizens must submit their applications for passports ONLY through the portal. The begin the process, applicants would visit https://passport.immigration.gov.ng.
Similarly, applicants living in Nigeria will pay N25,000 for a 32-page passport with a 5-year validity and N70,000 for a 64-page passport with a 10-year validity period. Applicants living outside Nigeria will pay $130 for passports with a 5-year validity period plus 32 pages and $230 for passports with a 10-year validity period and 64 pages.
The portal allows users to perform the following applications in easy steps:
- Apply for a fresh passport
- Apply for renewal/ re-issue
- Apply for data correction
- Resume applications
- Check payment status
- Book appointments
Dealing with internal challenges
According to Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, going forward, officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service will now focus on reviewing applications, approving applications and printing passport documents only.
To ensure a seamless flow, the Immigrant Service has also completed a retraining exercise for officers who will be responsible for the verification and approval processes. The Comptroller General, of Nigeria Immigration Service, Caroline Adepoju also shared with the stakeholders, plans to motivate high-performing officers to ensure cooperation and motivation.
The minister also disclosed plans to provide office running costs to the 48 interior offices to ease pressure on officers.