Two weeks passport renewal still a mirage, says renowned journalist

Posted on: April 5, 2024, by :

*He alleged NIS officer told him to go call the minister

Renowned multi-award winning journalist and Social Mobilisation Manager at ActionAid Nigeria, Mr. Olola Seun Akioye has criticized personnel of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) for making it difficult for Nigerians renew their international passport within the two weeks period promised by the Minister of Interior Affairs, Mr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

Akioye said he had applied for renewal of his international passport for over a month and expected, based on the Interior Minister’s promise, to get his passport in less than three weeks. But more than a month after he filled the form online and adhered to other requirements in line with the new procedure, his passport was not ready. Akioye said: “Over one month ago (February 27, 2024), I applied for a renewal of my passport. Everything was done online, they even told me to book online, which I did.

“My praise for Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo was to heavens. But that’s where it ends-the sanity.  To capture is war, you must know someone. From the gate they kept asking me who is ‘helping me’.

“They told us to track our passport online. I did. Till today, it’s still not ready, after a month. Well, I am there today, whether they like it or not.  They are asking me who is helping me.”

After spending hours, Akioye reported that an officer, Asikpo went to check if the passport was ready. It was not. The officer directed him to go to Servicom to see whether it would be there.  He reminded her that the interior minister promised seamless two weeks procedure.

Akioye alleged: “One other lady officer looked at me with scorn. Looked at me with disdain, with my belle   and all, and told me to go and call the minister and report.”

Akioye, who posted the experience on his Facebook page, attracted reactions from many, including renowned journalists.

Sanya Oni commented: “Shame. Everybody points at the invisible machine called government as being the factor responsible for our woes, when many of us are actually the principalities wearing the system down.”

Yomi Odunuga, in his comment, wrote: “Whatever you do, ensure that the minister gets to read this. This nonsense must stop.”

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