The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says that it will require the collaboration of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to clear all passport backlogs before the May 31 deadline.
Fagbamigbe explained that on receiving applications from applicants , NIS would send the applicants NINs to the National Identity Number to NIMC for verification and confirmation.
“It is only when the applicants’ NINs had been confirmed by NIMC and returned same to NIS through its portal that NIS can embark on the processing of passports for applicants.
“Many Nigerians are not aware of this process.
“Most Nigerians blame NIS when it comes to obtaining international passport, however, in obtaining international passport, there are two stakeholders: NIS and NIMC,” Fagbamigbe said.
He said that all the passport offices in Lagos State had begun the production of passports to ensure that all the backlogs are cleared for applicants whose NINs had been verified and confirmed by NIMC on their portal.
He said that it was necessary for him to explain to Nigerians this process so that they would understand that the the production and issuance of international passports do not start and end at NIS.
“NIS cannot produce any passport without confirmation of NIN from the NIMC,” he said.
The controller said the taskforce he set up was strictly monitoring production of passport booklets at the passport offices in Lagos State .
“I was at Festac Passport Office on May 21 for monitoring, I was at Ikoyi Passport Office on May 19. The production of passport backlogs had kicked–off.
“The passport offices have already sent messages to some applicants that their passports are ready. NIS will do its best for Nigerians,” he said.
The Comptroller also said that the Comptroller–General of Nigerian Immigration Service (CGIS) had deployed all Deputy Comptrollers’ General (DCG) in the service to all passport offices across the country for supervision.
NIMC also registers persons covered by the Act and assigns a Unique National Identification Number (NIN), among others.
NAN also reports that the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, at a webinar organised by Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), recently, gave May 31 as deadline to clear the backlog of passport applications. (NAN)