Why FG introduced new conditions for passport acquisition, renewal – Tunji-Ojo


Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has explained the rationale behind the federal government’s introduction of new prerequisites for obtaining or renewing international passports.
 
 
The minister said the new conditions introduced for obtaining or renewing international passports were instituted to curb the acquisition of Nigerian passports by non-citizens.
 
Tunji-Ojo stated this Wednesday in Abuja while responding to questions from newsmen, saying “the passport is a security document exclusive to Nigerian citizens.”
 
According to the minister, the new conditions would impede non-Nigerians from acquiring the passport, revealing that foreigners have exploited the inefficiencies of the previous system.
 
Meanwhile, the minister acknowledged challenges faced by new passport applicants, assuring the public of an enhanced process in the coming weeks.
 
The new conditions, including the provision of a citizenship certificate, date of birth certificate and the National Identification Number (NIN), have become critical in verifying applicant’s true citizenship.
 
Further speaking on the motive behind the introduction of the new process, Tunji-Ojo emphasised that the reform aimed at simplifying the passport acquisition process for Nigerians through facilitating speedy online application, production, and passport collection. 
 
“We have to introduce this new system in order to stop those non-Nigerians carrying Nigerian passports. Contrary to reports, the new process is working very effectively and hiccups recorded is only 4 per cent, which is significant improvement for a system that is newly introduced and I assure you that in the next one or two weeks we will have near perfect system. 
 
“We have to improve our process of obtaining passports because passport is a security document. This new system has improved accessibility, transparency and efficiency,” the Minister stated.
 
“We are building a future for Nigerians where things should be done in a better way. We changed the price of five-year passport because the 10-year passport is N70, 000; so, the one for five years should be half of that amount, which is N35. 000. We are committed to making things better in our country,” the minister said.