Nigerians in New York, United States, have written to Rauf Aregbesola, the minister of interior, over the lack of passport booklets in Nigerian consulates and the embassy there.
Francis James, a board member of the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN, Inc.), and other leaders of 16 Nigerian groups jointly signed the letter in which they noted the aggravation that Nigerians had while trying to get passports.
A copy of the letter, which was sent to news reporters in New York, detailed the aggravation experience by Nigerians seeking passports at the country’s American missions owing to a paucity of passport booklets.
Newsmen report that OAN had on June 29, held a virtual Town Hall meeting to discuss the challenges Nigerians faced in getting their passports and deliberated on ways to address the challenges.
OAN had summoned the meeting based on the information that prior to June 28, passport issuance had stopped for four weeks at the Consulate in New York, according to James, OAN liaison with the Nigeria Consulate in New York.
The meeting agreed that a letter should be written to the minister of interior and other key relevant officials to communicate the three-point resolutions from the meeting.
Meanwhile, Aregbesola, had on June 16, denied shortage of passport booklets in Nigeria, saying the country was contending with “human challenges”.
“We are requesting your Excellency to work together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and facilitate the provision of adequate passport booklets.
“This will enable the Consulate in New York to clear the backlogs at all processing locations and ensure that Passport processing from application to issuance is to complete within a reasonable time frame of not more than three months.
“The ministry should expand the number of available appointments on the central portal to at least 100 each day, or to the number each Embassy or Consulate has the capacity to handle.
“It should also hold Innovate1, the vendor managing the payment portal, accountable to improve their service and deliver a more customer friendly platform to Nigerians,’’ it stated.