Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has revealed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) produced more than 1.7 million passports in 2022.
Fielding questions at the 64th edition of State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, Aregbesola said the figure was a landmark achievement.
He rated the Ministry of Interior and its agencies as having scored above 80 per cent in terms of performance.
“By Dec. 31 2022, we produced more than 1.7 million passports.
“In the annals of Nigeria that has not happened before; as I am talking to you, we have more than 200,000 booklets in our store.
“`We are not denying the fact that there are human-induced challenges if you look at the number of applications, vis-a-vis the number of passports produced.
“We are above 80 per cent in performance; in any way, take it as given that we produced more than 1.7 passports in 2022,’’ Aregbesola said.
The minister said that a presidential directive had been issued with regards to the domestication of passport production.
He said the Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with the NIS, had empanelled a “project steering committee’ with mandate to actualise the goal.
Aregbesola also said there was a major reformation and digitisation of passport issuance and administration as a temporary electronic passport had been introduced.
“We are digitising the process; my plan was to fully digitise the Ikoyi Registry in Lagos by Dec. 2022 but I could not fully achieve that.
“What does that mean? When this process is concluded, an applicant does not need to bring anything anymore; you complete your process online and by that time, you don’t need an agent.
“There can’t be racketeering. I am on it and I want to guarantee that we will do it before we leave.
“We have also concluded arrangements on the temporary passport issue; we have the passport, but we have some issues with our sister ministry – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we are solving it,’’ he said.