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FG suspends processing of new passport

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A Nigerian officer holds passports for his troops preparing to board a U.S. military plane in the Nigerian capital Abuja October 28, 2004, before flying to El-Fasher in Darfur to reinforce an expanded African Union peacekeeping effort in the violent region of western Sudan. The U.S. airlift is the first U.S. military deployment in the Darfur conflict. REUTER/Finbarr O’Reilly FOR/SM

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has suspended the processing of new international passports to enable it clear the backlogs of applications.

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The suspension which took effect on Monday, May 17 was announced in a statement by NIS Deputy Controller General AB Yarima.

Minister of interior Rauf Aregbesola mandated Immigration to halt the issuance of new passports to clear the backlog ahead of a new passport regime which kicks off on Junie 1.

The deputy controller general also urged all passport control offices to make use of the period to ensure it clear all outstanding passport processing.

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“Consequently upon the foregoing, all PCOs are therefore directed to utilize this period, May 17, 2021, to May 31, 2021, to ensure that all backlogs are produced and handed over to command controllers for collection by members of the public concerned,” Yerima said in an internal memo.

He added that new applications for passports, “whether fresh or renewal are by this circular suspend till June 1, 2021.”

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“To this effect requests for Fresh and/or Reissue shall not be entertained with effect from 18th May 2021-31st May 2021 in all Centres except for locations in the Missions abroad,” Immigration said in a statement.

The commission also stated that notifications for the collection of produced passports are already going out to applicants who indicated functional phone numbers in their applications.

Yerima noted that the new passport application and processing regime shall commence by 1st June 2021.

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He stated that the new criteria for processing new passport form June include applicant would have to apply online and applicant who has not booked an online appointment shall be attended to

Yerima also stated that no cash payment to anyone shall be entertained in any Issuing Centre and passport application processing and issuance shall take a period of six weeks after successful enrollment.

He noted that requests for reissue can be submitted six months before expiration.

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