According to the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Nigerian government has announced that starting next year, individuals applying for passports will have the option to have it delivered to their preferred locations such as homes, offices, or other chosen places.
He made this disclosure at the opening ceremony of the 2023 University of Lagos International Week in Lagos.
The Minister further mentioned that the process is being automated with a planned timeline and soon Nigerians will be able to enjoy the convenience and efficiency of the passport application process.
“We have commenced the automation of our end-to-end passport application process, and we have given a timeline from which Nigerians will begin to experience the ‘sweet experience,” he said at the event.
“By January next year, Nigerians will be able to complete this application process online, and by February next year, with collaboration and partnership with other relevant stakeholders, Nigerians will have their passports delivered to their homes, offices, and other locations of their choice.”
Continuing, Tunji-Ojo noted that this is not limited to passport application process as the ministry is making effort to ensure the process of visa application is also seamless with plan to open application centres across the world.
He added, “This, of course, would be extended to our visa application process. We are deploying technology throughout the entire process to make it as seamless as possible. To achieve this, we have set everything into motion to open more visa application centres across the world.
“In this regard, we are also working on strengthening our visa-on-arrival policy. We are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to enforce the principle of the doctrine of reciprocity, and a committee has been set up in the ministry to achieve this.”
According to him, the integrity of travel documents would be restored via harmonisation of data including that of BVN, NIN SIM card registration among others.
“Identity is who we are, what we are, and what we live for. But today, what we have is a duplication of our registration,” he said.
“We have the BVN in the bank, the international passport, the NIN, SIM card registration by telecos, and so on, all of which request your data. The integrity of our travel documents must be restored through the harmonisation of our data.”