Having faced series of tasks arising from insufficient passports, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has commenced massive issuance of international passports to intending travellers to clear the backlog of applications.
Sources close to Safari News disclosed to us today that the NIS recently took delivery of new passport booklets which were distributed to all passport offices nationwide.
With this, many intending travellers who had faced difficulties in obtaining international passports since the beginning of the year due to non-availability of passport booklets could now heave a sigh of relief.
We learnt that the immigration high command also directed all passport offices to extend their working hours to 2 p.m. on Saturdays in order to clear the backlog of passport applications. “Our working hours have been extended to Saturdays; we now work from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays” said our source.
The booklets, we gathered were printed in Malaysia while our source also said that the non-availability was caused by scarcity of foreign exchange.
He assured that the extended working hours would enable the service to clear the backlog within a short period.
“We are sure all matters relating to request and collection of international passports will be resolved in due course,” the source said.
An applicant in Lagos, Miss Oddsey Mathew spoken to at the Alausa Passport Office, expressed delight at the way the NIS was handling the processing passport applications. She expressed optimism that the extended working hours would help in clearing the backlog of applications. She also urged the service to process the existing applications before working on new requests to aid fast processing and delivery of booklets to applicants.