The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs has disclosed that Nigerian missions will soon start delivering passports to its nationals through the mail.
According to the ministry, this will help eliminate the stress Nigerians go through when trying to keep interview appointments at the missions.
Some citizens earlier raised issues on improved services on visas, passport issuance, delivery, and the need to get emergency travel certificates, Daily Dates Nigeria reports
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Gabriel Aduda told NAN that the ministry was already discussing with some courier companies to pilot the scheme.
Aduda said “We have started with new innovation and we are trying to keep Nigerians from traveling to missions for passport renewal.
“We are already talking with some courier companies that will pick passports to the applicants’ doorsteps when they have made all the necessary payments and fill the forms online.
“We don’t want them to come to the missions anymore; it will be delivered to them and we have four consulates to pilot the innovation.”
The Permanent Secretary while reacting to the backlog of passports, said the Coronavirus pandemic came with a dry spell in the production of passports, noting that it created a problem in all the missions across the world.
In a related development, the Nigerian consulate in New York said it is making arrangements to enroll Nigerians within its jurisdiction for the National Identification Number (NIN).
The Consul-General, Lot Egopija made this known at a hybrid town hall meeting in New York for Nigerian nationals within the jurisdiction.
Egopija said the consulate had received a directive from the federal ministry of foreign affairs to enrol its nationals.
The Consul-General said the consulate will soon conclude arrangements with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
He noted that the Consulate had improved services in the areas of passport delivery, passport issuance, and also in the processing of passport and visa documents.
Egopija said, “We have been able to reduce the waiting hours and we have removed our nationals from the street. Before now, we used to have our nationals loitering around the building.
“But we have created a holding room to accommodate our nationals and give them a new lease of life whereby they feel they belong to Nigeria House.
“We have also improved our consular services in the area of dissemination of information through upgrading our website and making it more friendly.
“Also, we have opened a WhatsApp platform to disseminate information to all the members of associations registered with the Consulate to ensure timely communication.’’
The Nigerian envoy added that the Consulate was working with Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS) to get sufficient passport booklets to meet the need of Nigerians within New York jurisdiction.
He also explained that the Consulate would embark on cultural diplomacy which is aimed at promoting Nigeria’s image by organising cultural shows in the U.S., saying “we need to export our culture”.
Egopija while speaking on trade and investment, said he was in talks with the New York Chamber of Commerce and would be extending it to other Chambers of Commerce in the United States to boost trade relations between Nigeria and the host country.
He said, “Nigerians deserve the best from us and we will give Nigerians the best always.’’