The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced plans to increase the validity of passports issued to adults from five to 10 years.
This is coming two year after the lawmaker representing Oluyole federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Abuja, Hon. Olusunbo Olugbemi, moved the motion.
Olugbemi had moved the motion to relieve Nigerian home and those that are in diaspora to at least use their international passport for 10 solid years as against 5 years before re-applying for a renewal to be at par with other nations of the world.
Speaking last week at Passport Office in Ikoyi, the Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Mohammed Babandede, said “The idea is to reform the old passport booklet, the booklet will change. 10-year validity will reduce the burden on applicants and on the system.
Babandede explained that this was part of reforms by the Service towards improving the process of issuing passports to Nigerians.
He was also confident that the issuance of the new passport, which would commence before the end of the year, would reduce the burden on Nigerians to acquire passports every five years.
“We strongly believe that this will help Nigeria, this will make our customers happy, and we will ensure it is done before the end of this year because the booklet has to change,” the Immigration boss said.
Speaking on the development, Olugbemi recalled that the process of renewal of the old passport was very simple and efficient as it required mere stamping by an authorized Immigration official, indicating a new expiration date.
He said that “The 10 years life span of the passport sits very well with international best practices because countries issue travelling visa which vary from 2 weeks to 10 years but the Nigeria Immigration Services, for reason only known to it decided to limit the validity of the new Nigeria Passport to 5 years without any option of renewal, therefore instead of renewal of the passport on expiration a new one is to be issued.”
Olugbemi wondered why the E-passport processing is cumbersome. He wants the government agency to ease the stress of applicants queuing up daily to process their passports.