Interior Minister Announces Imminent Launch of Automated Passport Application Process  - The Top Society

Interior Minister Announces Imminent Launch of Automated Passport Application Process 

TOPSOCIETYNG

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has declared that the long-awaited automation of the passport application process is set to commence “in the next one week.” 

The minister, who initially assured Nigerians on October 4, promising the feature’s availability from December, provided a follow-up update on Tuesday.

Tunji-Ojo, expressing confidence, revealed that the technology behind the automated system is now “99 percent done.” 

“In fact, we’ve done the testing and we should be going live in the next one week or thereabout. As I said, that will ensure that Nigerians, all they need to do in an immigration centre, a passport centre, is just biometrics, just to take your fingerprints, that’s all,” he said.

When questioned about the convenience for Nigerian nationals, he emphatically affirmed, “Of course!” This indicates that citizens will soon have the ability to complete their passport applications from the comfort of their homes, streamlining the process through online submissions of passport photos and supporting documents.

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“We have gone beyond that. In fact, we’ve gone through it. We would have gone live about two weeks ago but I saw some errors when they came to do a presentation and I said, ‘You know this cannot be this,” he said.

“We’re talking about balancing national security as well as convenience. There must be a middle point. You cannot bring discomfort on the basis of enhancement of security. You must find a meeting point of both security and comfort.”

In a broader vision for enhanced travel facilitation, the minister reiterated his commitment that by February 2024, all Nigerian international airports will be equipped with e-gates, marking a significant step toward modernizing airport operations and ensuring efficient and secure international travel for Nigerian citizens.

“Once you’re Nigerian and you’re coming to Nigeria, you will have no business seeing an immigration officer, except if you’re a person of interest,” he said.

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