NIS shuts Abia passport office, extends new regime deadline
The Comptroller-General (CG) of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, has announced the closing down of passport office in Ubakala, Abia State following the burning down of the office by unknown armed men.
The CG disclosed this, yesterday, while briefing the media on development in the agency with regards to efforts on the introduction of a new passport regime and clearance of backlog applications.
He said the agency was collaborating with the police and other security agencies to secure and protect passport offices across the country.
“We are very sad that we have to close down our passport office in Abia because it was attacked and part of the building was burned down.
“This is very sad but we are lucky that the passport office section was safe and all the passport booklets produced are intact, otherwise it would have been worse,” he said.
Lamenting that the building was one of newly-built and commissioned offices, Babandede urged the protection of critical national infrastructure to avoid waste of national resources, saying: “I have instructed the officers to defend and protect their fatherland because they have a duty to keep the stability and integrity of the nation. We are also working with the police and other security agencies to tackle this challenge.”
The NIS boss, while giving an update on the recent passport innovation going on in the Service, said the new passport regime, which began on June 1, 2021, had been extended by a week to enable applicants, who are yet to collect their passports, do so in compliance with COVID-19 protocols and to avoid overcrowding.
He explained that already, 230,500 passports had been produced and distributed with 43,350 yet to be collected by the applicants.
He, therefore, urged all who received messages to endeavour to come and collect their passports as directed because the schedule is such that applicants are invited in batches of 50 for collection.
He said only 1,800 passports were left to be cleared and this would be done in few days’ time.
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