Nigerian Passport: NIS introduces home delivery service

By Innocent Raphael

Nigerians will soon be able to receive their passports at home as the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) introduces a new delivery service set to begin in June.

This significant development was announced by the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, during an inspection of the electronic gates at the new terminal of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Friday.

Initially, the home delivery service will be available in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Abuja. Minister Tunji-Ojo clarified that the rollout will be limited to the locations to prevent overloading the system.

For Nigerians living abroad, the service will first be introduced in the United States and the United Kingdom, with preliminary tests to ensure its efficiency.

The Minister explained that the delay in launching home delivery was due to the absence of a dedicated data center. The NIS had been using a private company’s data center, which posed security concerns.

“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,” Tunji-Ojo said.

He emphasized the importance of having a permanent data center for maintaining the integrity and security of national data.

“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 added.

With the new data center now completed, the passport delivery solution is ready.

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

He highlighted that the technology deliverables and tracking solutions are embedded in the application to avoid multiple lines of failure.

In addition to the passport delivery service, the Minister announced the completion of the electronic visa system’s final presentation. This new system will reduce visa processing time from 72 hours to 48 hours.

The introduction of home delivery for passports follows an earlier announcement by Tunji-Ojo that the service would begin by February 2024, allowing Nigerians to receive their passports at their homes, offices, or other chosen locations.

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