Obaseki to Construct New Passport Office in Auchi to ease Access to Travel Documents
By Isaac Aimurie and Henry Oqua
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has promised to construct a new passport office for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Auchi, Edo North Senatorial District, to ease access to travel documents before the end of the year.
Obaseki made the pledge on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, during the commissioning of a passport production center and the roll out of enhanced electronic passport, in company of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Benin City, the State capital.
Commending the Minister for extending the facility to the State, Obaseki said: “The new production center will help us mitigate touting and all the challenges associated with the process of getting a passport.”
He added: “We are happy that Edo is now a production center that will serve the huge number of travelers in the State. This will ease the production of travel documents.
“We are in solidarity with you to stamp out touts from the process. There are complaints of lack of production materials and the process is slow.”
The Governor noted that “the new electronic platform will create new entrepreneurs who will support the system and will restore integrity to the process,” adding that more jobs will be created for people who will set up booths to assist people who want to process their passport online.
Earlier, the Minister assured that “the Nigeria Immigration Service was committed to changing the quality of service it offers at all levels.”
Aregbesola said: “On the complaint over the non-availability of passports for citizens, I can assure you that we are on top of the situation.
“The reason we are commissioning this facility in Edo is that the State is next to Lagos in Nigeria in terms of demand for travel documents, so it is important that we do this here. With the new production center there is no reason for scarcity of the document over scarcity of booklet.”
He described the new enhanced e-passport as the “real deal in terms of security, durability and one of the best in the world, with 25 additional security features; water resistant, polycarbonate in design and cannot be compromised by counterfeiters.
“We have stipulated six weeks for new passports and three weeks for renewal.”
He explained that the new process can only be done through online application, urging citizens who need the document to access the portal and apply for their passports.
He tasked officers of the NIS not to exploit Nigerians who approach them for guidance.