The Publisher Nigeria reports that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has postponed applications for new passports again.
This was confirmed by the Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede, on Tuesday.
It was earlier slated to commence on June 1, 2020, but the new date will now be June 8, 2021.
According to a statement by NIS Public Relations Officer, Amos Okpu, Babandede was quoted as making the announcement at the NIS headquarters in Abuja during a media chat.
The statement read in part, “A huge number of applicants are already turning up to collect their passports across issuing centres and this is causing some forms of congestion.
“This situation will not allow the Service to accommodate new applications especially considering our desire to ensure that people who come to our offices comply with all the COVID-19 protocols.
“Consequent upon the above, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has extended the commencement of the new passport regime earlier scheduled for June 1, 2021 by one week till June 8, 2021.
“The period shall be used to attend to applicants for collection, clear all the remaining backlogs as well as improve systems automation for the take-off of the new passport regime effective 8th June 2021.
“The Comptroller General of Immigration assures all of full commitment to improved service delivery to all passport applicants and others.”
Recall that the NIS announced on May 17, 2021, that it was halting applications and processing of new passports until May 31, 2021.
The move was to allow for the clearance of backlog from all local and foreign passport applications received before May 17, 2021.
Babandede also revealed that a total of 230,500 applications have been cleared and the passports produced.
Out of this, a total number of 43,350 are yet to be collected.