The Nigeria Immigration Service has disclosed that it has commenced the deployment of Assistant Comptroller Generals to some zonal offices with a higher number of unclaimed passports to ramp up the collection of over 100,000 produced but unclaimed passports across the country.
The Comptroller General of Immigration, Isah Idris, made this known in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the NIS, Anthony Akuneme, on Tuesday.
Idris stated that Lagos State topped the list of uncollected passports with about 40,000 produced passports yet to be claimed by applicants.
He said, “Lagos State topped the list of uncollected passports with about 40,000 produced passports yet to be collected by the applicants. Other zones with a higher number of uncollected passports where the ACGs were deployed, were Benin and Port Harcourt Zonal Offices of the Immigration to ramp up the collection of the produced passports.
“The mandate of the senior officers was to ensure that everything possible was done to locate the applicants whose passports were among the 100,000 produced passports that have not been collected by the prospective holders.
“The failure of applicants to come forward to collect their passports after months is worrisome and I call on those that applied for Nigerian travel passports since January 2021, and those that applied within the six weeks passport processing timeline to visit the Passport Offices where they did their biometric capture for collection of their produced passports.”
Idris explained that the high rate of uncollected passports came as a result of many applicants who supplied incorrect contact details such as inactive telephone numbers, contact addresses, and e-mail addresses, which made it difficult for NIS personnel to reach them.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Federal Ministry of Interior and NIS announced that it had made the renewal of Nigerian international passports less cumbersome which included a six-week timeframe for candidates to apply and obtain the new enhanced e-Passport for fresh applicants and three weeks for reissue.