June 13, 2024
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The Federal Government has assured that home delivery of passports will commence in June making it unnecessary for Nigerians to travel to immigration offices to obtain their passports.

This was announced by the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, during an inspection of the electronic gates at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport’s new terminal on Friday, May 24, 2024, in Abuja.

Tunji-Ojo said the delivery will not include every location to avoid overloading and damaging the system.

He said the Nigerian Immigration Service would start home delivery in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Abuja.

The minister stated that for Nigerians in the diaspora, the home delivery service would initially commence in the United States and the United Kingdom, with preliminary testing to ensure its effectiveness.

Tunji-Ojo explained that the delay in implementing home delivery was due to a lack of data centers.

He noted that the NIS had been relying on a private company’s data centre and emphasised the need for a permanent solution to this problem.

He said, “We have completed the whole solution but when we came on board, we realised that the data centre was not really there. We were leveraging on a private company data centre and we appreciate them for that assistance. We think that it is better to create a permanent solution to problems rather than quick fixes.

“We could have done it in February but we had to build our data centre from scratch to be able to keep the integrity of our data and national security intact. This is more important. It is disgraceful that NIS is 61 years old and NIS is a custodian of biometric data of Nigeria and we believe that NIS should be in charge of the data of Nigeria.

“It is not acceptable that this data is domiciled in a third party and that is why we have been able to do this.’’

The minister, however, noted that the data centre has been constructed and the passport delivery issue resolved.

He said, “It is about national security and I can assure you that It is comparable with anyone you can find anywhere in the world.

“We have built the data centre, sorted the passport delivery solution and done the final presentation in terms of technology deliverables and the tracking solution which will all be embedded in the application we have so we do not create multiple lines of failure.’’

The minister stated that the final presentation of the electronic visa has been completed, adding that it will reduce the visa processing time from 72 hours to 48 hours.“The passport automation process is almost complete,” he added.

Tunji-Ojo had earlier in October 2023 hinted that Nigerians would be able to have their passports delivered to their homes, offices, or any other location of their choice with effect from February 2024.

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