By Bukola Adetoye
The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) says it will set up a taskforce for the clearance of backlog of passports in the three passport offices in Lagos State.
Mr Sunday Fagbamigbe, the Controller of Passport Command in the state, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday.
Fagbamigbe was reacting to the new May 31 deadline given by the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, for the clearance of passports’ backlog.
NAN reports that the NIS in recent times had faced challenges in passport issuance because of shortage of passport booklets both at home and abroad.
According to Fagbamigbe, the command’s taskforce will work to ensure that all accrued passport applications in the three passports offices located at Ikoyi, Festac Town and Ikeja are cleared.
The controller said that the taskforce would start monitoring its enforcement and implementation from May 21, so as to record a landmark success in Lagos State.
“This is to showcase the good intentions and the determination of the Controller-General of Immigration Service (CGIS), Mr Mohammed Babandede, to serve Nigerians.
“The directive on the suspension of processing of new passport applications is also to enhance passport offices’ clearance of backlog of passports.
“I hail the new directive by the NIS on the suspension of processing of new passport applications as supported by the Ministry of Interior.
“The Lagos Passport Command taskforce will work relentlessly,’’ Fagbamigbe said, adding that the enforcement would begin from the Passport office at Ikoyi.
NAN reports that the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, at a Webinar organised by the Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), had given May 31 as the deadline for all passport offices to clear all backlogs of passport applications. (NAN)