Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has ordered Nigerian Immigration Service to deactivate all passports with unverified addresses.
Aregbesola handed down the policy directive at the maiden edition of the quarterly performance review meeting of Service Providers engaged by the Ministry and its Agencies in Abuja.
He also disclosed that going forward, no person with unverified address will be issued a passport. Speaking further, the minister revealed that address revalidation will be conducted periodically to protect the integrity of the Nigerian passport.
In his remark, he reiterated the Federal Government determination towards ensuring effective and efficient service delivery to all Nigerians.
He said such review meetings avails the Ministry the opportunity to evaluate the achievements and challenges of the service providers, vis-à-vis, its mandate and thereby strategically help them to work better, efficiently and fruitfully in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Speaking further, Aregbesola said the focus of President Buhari’s administration is firmly fixed on the tripod of addressing insecurity in the country, fixing the economy and tackling corruption.
“As you are all aware, the Ministry of Interior is saddled with the responsibility of maintaining internal security and citizenship integrity.
In order to achieve the mandate of the Ministry, there is need to put in place well thought-out projects and programmes that will ensure effectiveness and efficiency toward improving internal security and determine where we are on the delivery of internal security and our other responsibilities.
“Some key performance indices from some of our service providers include the following: Iris Smart Technology Ltd stated that a total number of 1,487,000 Passports Booklets were delivered in 2020. Also, Greater Washington Xpress in charge of Passport Address Verification revealed that out of the 1,563,104 addresses verified within the period under review, they were unable to locate 2,786 address, which accounts for about 0.18% of the total number of addresses validated.”
Others includes; “Newworks Solution Limited, a service provider in the Visa Processing business with operations in 22 locations around the world revealed that despite the pandemic, it processed 84,948 visa applications in the period under review.
Another Service Provider, Anchor Dataware Solutions revealed that a total of 23,552 Marriage Registration Applications were received, with a total number of 459 Place of Worship Registrations Received.”
He said The Minister therefore charged some Service Providers to improve their performance in service delivery. “IRIS should do everything within its powers to ensure that passport production is not disrupted and scarcity eliminated.
Thebes should ensure that the Ease of Doing Business is not compromised while top notch customer service is delivered.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, commended the Minister for the initiative of this effort designed to ensure continuous improvement in quality services delivered by these service providers to both the Nigerian and International public.
Dr Belgore urged all service providers to be proactive in their service deliveries and strive to focus on projects that will generate high returns on investment to boost the Nigerian Economy.
He urged them to take full advantage of the knowledge sharing session for a speedy and successful delivery of these projects for the benefits of citizenship integrity and for the promotion of good governance of the Nation.