The Federal Government has said it produced 625,000 passports within five months through the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola, who said this on Tuesday, noted that the enhanced passport of the NIS was the real deal in passport making.
According to THE NATION, Aregbesola described the international travel document as a product of the latest technology in passport administration and issuance.
In a statement by his media aide, Sola Fasure, the minister said the 625,000 passports were issued to Nigerians desirous of acquiring the travel document in 2022 alone.
Aregbesola spoke at the rollout of enhanced e-passport for Delta and Edo states at the Passport Office Headquarters in Benin, the Edo State capital.
“Our enhanced passport is the real deal in passport making. Today’s event is unique in many ways. The most important is making the enhanced e-passport available to the good people of Edo and Delta states. The enhanced e-passport comes in various categories, including the 64-page 10-year validity passport which is quite convenient for frequent travellers. It is a product of the latest technology in passport administration and issuance.
“This year alone, we have received about 750,000 applications out of which we have provided 625,000. The difference could have been due to many reasons, including failure of applicants to provide the correct information about themselves and matching their data with NIN. We could not contact them because they applied through louts who provided their own addresses or wrong ones altogether.
“But 625,000 is a huge and unprecedented figure, in less than half of the year, by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.
Aregbesola said President Muhammadu Buhari was worried about the hassles Nigerians go through in securing the passports, adding that the job of the NIS is to ensure that Nigerians desirous of getting the passport do so with ease.