Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, announced on Monday that, starting February 2024, Nigerians will have their passports delivered to their homes, offices, and other preferred locations. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the University of Lagos International Week, he shared plans to automate the end-to-end passport application process, allowing citizens to complete applications online by January 2024.
Tunji-Ojo emphasized the goal of providing a more efficient experience for Nigerians, reducing passport wait times to no more than two weeks. The delivery service will commence in February 2024, facilitated through collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
The minister highlighted ongoing efforts to enhance the visa application process, including the opening of 12 additional visa application centers worldwide. The visa-on-arrival policy is set to be strengthened, and reciprocity principles will be enforced, with a committee established in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to oversee these initiatives.
Tunji-Ojo expressed concern about the duplication of identity registrations, such as the Bank Verification Number (BVN), passport details, National Identification Number (NIN), and SIM card registration. He revealed President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s directive to harmonize the country’s various identity numbers, streamlining the data exchange process among agencies. The harmonization aims to restore the integrity of travel documents, save costs, and optimize security measures.
In conclusion, the minister underscored the significance of identity and the need for a unified database, aligning with the Renewed Hope Agenda to enhance data harmonization in Nigeria.