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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Lagos, three others to enjoy home delivery of passports -Minister

Applicants from Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Abuja will begin to enjoy home delivery of Nigerian passports as from June.

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, disclosed this when he inspected the electronic gates at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport’s new terminal in Abuja.

This is the second time the minister will be providing a date for the service, as it may be recalled that last October, he had stated February 2024 as the take-off date for home passport delivery.

Tunji-Ojo said the delivery will be for certain locations in order not to overload the system. They are Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Abuja.

For Nigerians in the diaspora, passport home delivery service will first launch in the United States and the United Kingdom, with preliminary testing to ensure its effectiveness.

The minister explained that the delay in implementing home delivery was due to the lack of data centres, noting that the NIS had been relying on a private company’s data centre,

He emphasised the need for permanent solution to the problem.

“We have completed the whole solution but when we came on board, we realised that the data centre was not really there. We were leveraging on a private company data centre and we appreciate them for that assistance. We think that it is better to create a permanent solution to problems rather than quick fixes.

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“We could have done it in February but we had to build our data centre from scratch to be able to keep the integrity of our data and national security intact. This is more important. It is disgraceful that NIS is 61 years old and NIS is a custodian of biometric data of Nigeria and we believe that NIS should be in charge of the data of Nigeria.

“It is not acceptable that this data is domiciled in a third party and that is why we have been able to do this,” he said.

H added that the data centre has been constructed and the passport delivery process has been resolved.

“It is about national security and I can assure you that It is comparable with anyone you can find anywhere in the world.

“We have built the data centre, sorted the passport delivery solution and done the final presentation in terms of technology deliverables and the tracking solution which will all be embedded in the application we have so we do not create multiple lines of failure,” the minister said.

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Speaking further, the minister stated that the final presentation of the electronic visa has been completed.

He added that it will reduce the visa processing time from 72 hours to 48 hours.

“The passport automation process is almost complete,” he added.

Gracie Brown
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