FG blames ‘Japa syndrome’ for delay in processing Nigerian passports

THE Nigerian Government has explained why the average passport processing time of three and six weeks for renewals and first-time applicants, respectively, may be exceeded.

The Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola, who spoke to journalists after a high level meeting in Abuja on Thursday, January 26, said the increasing emigration of Nigerians from the nation in quest of better opportunities abroad, a phenomenon now known as “Japa syndrome,” was driving up demand for passports.

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Aregbesola added that the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) issued 1.9 million passport booklets in 2022 alone, nearly double the one million issued in the corresponding period of 2021.

“This is about 80 per cent increase and it is unprecedented,” the minister stated.



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    He said the Ministry of Interior was working closely with the NIS to constantly reform the passport administration process in order to deliver improved services to Nigerians at all times.

    Also speaking during the media briefing, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Shuaib Belgore, said last year, 159 Nigerians renounced their citizenship, noting that the figure was higher than the 15 years preceding 2022.

    “In the last two years, the minister issued a total of 70 deportation orders for the deportation of different nationals from Nigeria due to one infraction or the other. The majority of those deported were from the Democratic Republic of Korea, Egypt, Sri Lanka and a host of others,” he disclosed.

    Top government officials who attended the meeting include: the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service Haliru Nababa, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service Idris Isah Jere, the Comptroller-General of the Federal Fire Service Abdulganiyu Jaji and the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Ahmed Abubakar Audi.

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