The matter of issuance of international passports has for some time been a recurring decimal following accusations and counter-accusations from the citizens and the government agency in charge of the issuance over the availability of the document which is very important in order to travel from one country to another.
While the citizens have always complained about the non-availability of the document and the frustrations they always faced almost on a daily basis, the agency in charge of issuance of passports in the country, the Nigerian Immigration Services, has always insisted that there are enough passports available for those who need them.
The claim by the Immigration again came to the fore on Monday evening when the agency said in Lagos State alone, about 13,800 passports are in their various offices in Lagos State with the owners yet to come around to collect the vital document.
The Nigerian passport. (PHOTO CREDIT: Google Search Engine)
This is despite the cry by many residents of the state who had gone for capture in order to get the document and who have consistently complained that the document is not available while adding that those who could go through the backdoors always get the document.
However, the Passport Controller, Lagos Passport Command of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Mrs Milka Musa, disclosed that about 13,800 passports were awaiting collection at the various passport offices located at Ikoyi, FESTAC and Ikeja passport offices in the state.
The Passport Controller, who spoke about the situation with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the online news agency of the Federal Government, appealed to those who had applied in any of the passport offices before September 2021 to check their respective offices for collection as the documents have practically littered the offices.
She further confirmed that the Passport Control Officer in charge of each of the offices had sent text messages as a reminder to the concerned applicants, adding that about 12,300 were uncollected at Ikoyi passport office, 1,500 at the FESTAC office, while the remaining passports remained uncollected at the Ikeja office.
She was quoted by NAN as saying: "Based on the large number of the uncollected passports, I believe the applicants had forgotten they applied for the passports. And these may be the category of applicants who were in haste when they came to apply.
“The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) is appealing to these applicants to come and collect their passports,” she said.
“Nigerians should stop being in a haste when they come to apply for passports because the series of operations and security checks involved before issuance could not be carried out quickly."
There is no doubt that the ding-dong between the citizens and the agency in charge of issuance of passports will continue for some time over the very vital documents which anyone travelling from one country to another must have.
Link to the NAN report: https://portal.nannews.ng/13800-passports-uncollected-at-lagos-offices-controller-cries-out/
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