The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has added a tracking system for the processing and issuance of passports in the country. NIS Acting Comptroller General Isah Jere Idris, who announced this in a statement, explained that the tracking system was put in place by NIS to help applicants monitor the status of passport applications.
He said the initiative was part of the agency’s efforts to address identified challenges with the passport issuance system in the country.
He said the NIS is committed to supporting the ongoing war on corruption in the system and enthroning the transparency and accountability regime.
Idris said that since the NIS launched the online dating system, allegations of corruption and harassment against its staff have dropped significantly.
He, however, called on Nigerians to always stop paying bribes to agency staff, saying that “if there is no giver, there will be no collectors.
“Like parcels sent by logistics companies or visa applications, we have a tracking system in place so people can stay in the comfort of their room and know the status of their passport applications.
“You don’t need to offer kobo to anyone. All you need to do is log on to our website at www.trackimmigration.gov.ng, upload the required details and see an immediate response on the status of your passports,” he said.
According to Idris, the new initiative is part of efforts to phase out human interactions, saying the fuss and delays in issuing passports will soon be a thing of the past.
He said the best method to address identified shortcomings in the production process is through the deployment of technology, and pleaded with Nigerians to always apply for their passport before it expires or “only when they need it”.
He added that there are other measures in place to address all the challenges identified with applying for a passport in Nigeria, saying that the challenges currently being faced are the results of the combined problems of coronavirus disease, scarcity of currencies and national identity number validation, among others. others.
The Acting Comptroller General said that apart from the tracking system, the agency will also introduce in the next four weeks the self-validation of applicants’ NIN available on its portal and only when this is done. that the candidate will make the payment and make an appointment. for catching.
He said: “We should also note that passports confer the integrity of a nation on holders, therefore the integrity of the production of such documents should also not be compromised. We must therefore verify the authenticity of the candidates’ claims before proceeding with the production.
“Also most of the time delays are usually caused by NIN validation issues and what we want to do now will allow individual applicants to first verify and validate their NIN and only upload the validated NIN before you can pay for the passports. By doing this, we would have succeeded in solving the problem of delays from other partners over which we have no control.
Speaking about the introduction of the alert system, Idris also explained that the service is working on introducing an alert system “so that passport holders can be reminded when there are six months left before expiry. of their passport”.
“Like driver’s licenses, the NIS plans to introduce an alert system as soon as passports have about six months to expire. That’s how much we’re trying to leverage technology to ease the stress that’s currently being felt” , said the acting CGI.