THE Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), has unveiled a central enhanced e-Passport Production Centre for Jigawa, Katsina and Kano State.
The spokesman of the NIS, Tony Akuneme, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, said the Service decided to site the Centre in Kano to bring improved Passport processing services closer to the teeming numbers of Passport applicants in Kano and its environs.
According to the statement, the Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Isah Jere Idris, MFR, reassured Nigerians that the passport reform process was still in progress, especially the fast track program designed specifically for those who returned from different parts of the globe for the Yuletide holiday.
Represented at the event by the Assistant Comptroller General in charge of Standard Passport, Sadat Hassan, the CGI said: “We intend to keep the two weeks processing timeframe open to all diasporas until January 31st when the program will come to an end.
He stated that the NIS is still committed to issuing Passports within the stipulated timeframe of three to six weeks, post biometric capture, where there are no technical hitches or application irregularities such as inconsistencies in the NIN of applicants.
The CGI emphasized that NIN remains mandatory for the issuance of enhanced e-Passport and the information in both documents must match.
“We reiterate our official position that Passport applicants should please avoid using third parties but go online and make their applications and payments themselves at passport.immigration.gov.ng.
“We continue to deal with the challenges of recalcitrant touts as well as few bad eggs amongst the personnel who are bent on sabotaging the reform process.”
CGI Jere asserted that his management team remain focused on improving service delivery with particular emphasis on efficient and seamless Passport administration, border security and the welfare of officers and men of the Service.
Commissioning the facility at the Farm Centre area of Kano, the Executive Governor of the State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, congratulated the Service for being the first country in Africa to roll out the enhanced e-Passport.
The Governor, who was represented at the event by the Kano State Commissioner for Budget, Alhaji Danazumi Gwrazo, appreciated NIS for sighting the Center within the ancient city, noting that he believes the choice of Kano may have been because of the peaceful nature of the State.