Nigeria unveils online tracking system for passport application

Nigeria has concluded plans to unveil an online system for the tracking and monitoring of passport applications commencing from May 2022.

This was disclosed on Tuesday by the country’s Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, at the opening of a two-day workshop for Passport Control Officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service in Abuja.

Furthermore, the waiting time for fresh passports should not be more than six weeks while for passport renewal, it should not exceed three weeks, the minister said.

According to the minister, the federal government had concluded arrangements to unveil a system that would reduce the interaction between passport applicants and immigration officers.

He said apart from the National Identity Number verification and linking, there should be no other major reason for the delay in issuing passports.

“Not later than a month from today, applicants will be able to track their application online to know precisely what stage is your application. You will not have the hassle of people coming. Just go online with your reference number to check and it will state whether you are having a NIN problem.

“It will tell you the status of your application. It will tell you whether your passport is ready and you can pick it. This will be a month from now by the Grace of God.”

“We have adopted a maximum processing period of six weeks. It can be less but it should not be more. If it is more, let it be rare, let it be caused by an external factor, not you. To obtain fresh passports, it should be a maximum of three weeks. It can be less for the renewal.”

The minister who said the President has approved the full deployment of technology, warned immigration officers against sharp practices.

“Very soon, you will not see any passport applicants. Very soon there will be no files. Technology has provided so much succour for whoever wants to be efficient. That will be before the end of this year. Passport processing will be absolutely digitised. As it is impossible to see the air, it will be impossible for anybody to even know which passport is going where. It will just be in the system.

“We will get to a stage where no passport applicant will meet any immigration officer in the process of processing passports and there will be no manual documentation of that process.”