The federal government on Tuesday commissioned its Enhanced Passport Production Centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, as part of efforts to address the challenge of passport booklet shortage.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, during the commissioning, dismissed concerns about the shortage of passport booklets, as he said that there’s enough supply to meet the growing demand from Nigerians. His Media Adviser, Sola Fasure, in a statement said the Port Harcourt passport production centre will serve the passport demands from Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, and Akwa Ibom states.
Are there more demands from those states?
No, the minister stated that the commissioned center is for production purposes only, and gives no special advantages or disadvantages to applicants from the four states. Noting that there are no backlogs in the four states, the minister said additional 10,000 booklets have been released to the center. “In addition to the standardized timeline, we have also introduced a tracking mechanism in the application process, to enable applicants to monitor the progress of their application”, he said.
According to the statement, the processing time for fresh application and renewal is now six weeks and three weeks respectively, after biometric data capture. The timeline, Fasure said, is to enable the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to investigate and validate the claims of applicants, and confer integrity on the passport issued.