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Reps give immigration 72 hours to clear backlog of passport booklet applications

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has been given 72 hours by the house of representatives to clear its backlog of applications for passport booklets.

The green chamber during the plenary session requested the federal ministry of interior to review its agreement with the passport printing company to boost the production of the booklets.

The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Ugonna Ozurigbo from Imo state.

Many Nigerians have been lamenting their inability to renew their passports or get a new one because the booklets are scarce.

Eventhough the NIS had stated that the booklets are now available, some citizens in need of the booklets are still experiencing challenges and getting theirs both within and outside the country.

As the delay lingers, the common excuse at the various NIS offices and centres is that there is still a backlog of applications to be cleared.

Leading the debate on the motion, Ozurigbo said the long wait for the international passport has brought “untold hardship on Nigerians with urgent needs to travel out of the country.”

“Nigerians who are on medical referrals outside the country are developing needless health complications while waiting for their passports to be issued while those on urgent business trips have missed rewarding opportunities due to the unavailability of passport booklets to enable them to travel,” he said.

Ozurigbo also said the scarcity is “breeding a class of passport racketeers who extort innocent citizens with the promise to assist.”

In adopting the motion, the house also mandated its committees on interior and foreign affairs to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks.

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