Aregbesola commissions NIS Passport Express Centre in Abuja, to ‘reduce stress’

Minister of IInterior, Rauf Aregbesola, has commissioned the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Passport Express Centre at Maitama, Abuja

Speaking during the event on Tuesday, the Minister said the Maitama Passport Express Centre was established in partnership with the private sector.He added that “It is a first of many more to be established and designed to offer specialized services to Nigerians.

Justifying the move Aregbesola said, “A centre like this is necessary to reduce stress. Secondly, by minimising human contact, it eliminates the prospect of corruption. Further to the above, the sudden emergence of COVID-19 in our world today has not only affected our health, but it has also affected the way we do business and interact socially. Therefore, as we continue to adjust to the ‘New Normal’, the Nigeria Immigration Service, by this initiative, is decentralizing the Passport issuing process by bringing it to the doorstep of Nigerians.”

According to him, “The centre will offer value added service to all Nigerians, irrespective of their status; socially, politically and economically. This implies that the centre will serve the Passport needs of Nigerians who may be desirous of Premium services.

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I also state that while this is in line with international best practice, it is also in conformity with the Executive Order 1 on the ease of doing business in Nigeria which was signed into law by PresidentMuhammadu Buhari (GCFR) in 2017. And also to generate employment opportunities for Nigerians.This centre we are gathered here to commission today, is in response to the yearnings of the general public for the Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service to devise additional ways that the Passport Issuance process can be less stressful and more efficient. It is the future. The goal is to have a facility like this in every county in the country.

“Every Nigerian has the right to a Nigerian passport and it is our responsibility to put it in the hands of anyone desirous of it within the shortest possible time, without stress. The passport should be available in maximum of 72 hours of a successful application. Where there are issues, the applicant must be notified within 48 hours.

“”n essence, the Passport Express Centre has indeed come at the right time. The commencement of the operations of this world class facility will not only offer Nigerians services of convenience and pleasure by taking away the hitherto stress in the conventional passport offices. It will also afford Nigerians the opportunity of getting their Passports within 24 hours, at the high premium service and 72 hours at the ordinary premium service, albeit with added value and a little bit of extra cost.

“I am glad that the Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service are together making history in the cause of actualizing the noble objectives of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to provide quality leadership and governance and bring the greatest goods to the highest number of people.

“We are still only in the first quarter of the year 2021 and I must say it is already a year of many wins and positive transformation in the history of the NIS,” the Minister said.

He recalled thar earlier this month, “we commissioned the Data Management Centre of the agency. Not long ago, we presented the electronic temporary passport for Nigerians abroad that do not have the regular passports but need a one way travel document to return to Nigeria.Then again, last week, the annual report of the agency was presented to the public. For this and more, the NIS deserves commendation.

“I must be quick to add that these feats wouldn’t have been achievable without the unwavering support and sterling leadership of President Buhari who has supported the ministry and especially the NIS. My thanks and admiration of him is therefore without reservation.

“I will also like to commend the entire personnel of the NIS in conjunction with its technical partners for executing this initiative. I thank you all for your good work but warn that it is no time to rest on your oars. There are still many frontiers to be conquered in the quest to effectively manage our borders and provide adequate security to the Nigerian people in all ramifications.

“Our world today is at the tip of technological revolution. Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. It is in this regard that I urge you to continue to explore and develop innovative and technologically driven ideas aimed at repositioning the NIS to compete favourably with its counterparts all over the world without prejudice to national security. The NIS has no other choice but to rise to the challenges of our time and deliver efficient, effective, and satisfactory service to Nigerians as nothing short of this will be entertained,” the minister said.