Nigeria will not accept new applications for international passports until old applications are attended to, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has said.
While addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, the comptroller of NIS, Mohammad Babandede, said the agency would commence the accepting new applications from June 1.
Mr Babandede said the directive was given by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.
“The process of receiving and processing all fresh passport applications nationwide is suspended till 1st June 2021, when the new passport regime would have taken effect,” he said.
“The suspension of receiving and processing of fresh passport applications is to allow for clearance of every passport application that was received before 17th of May 2021.”
He said all payment portals have been closed till June 1 and a task force will be sent to passport offices to clear the backlog.
Mr Babandede said deputy comptrollers have been deployed to all passport centres to monitor the process and ensure the directive is followed.
New applications will be granted in six weeks from the time of application, he said.
Mr Babandede decorated senior officers of the NIS who were recently promoted.
By Oge Udegbunam