Home » Scarcity of Nigerian Passport Booklets Looms, Here’s Why

Scarcity of Nigerian Passport Booklets Looms, Here’s Why

Significant signs are pointing to a potential issue of scarcity in e-passport booklets.

by Maleek Adeyemi

According to a report by Leadership, the situation is occasioned by the non-payment of huge production debt to vendors and major stakeholders involved in the value chain of the travel document.

A top source at the passport office at the Nigeria Immigration Service headquarters, quoted in the report, explained that the gross income paid by passport applicants goes directly to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Treasury Single Account (TSA), from where the service is supposed to make payment to all stakeholders involved in the passport value chain.

He lamented that, unfortunately, before the income drops, the federal government, which regards the money as net income, takes out 50 per cent, leaving the Immigration service with nothing reasonable to service their vendors and all stakeholders involved in the passport production process.

His words: “Let me give you an example. The cost of the 32-page passport booklet outside Nigeria is $132, while the cost of the 64-page category is $230. If you apply outside Nigeria and you pay in dollars, the money goes straight into the Federal Account, which is shared amongst the three tiers of government every month by the Federation Account Committee (FAAC).”

The officer, who confirmed that there is currently a shortage of 32-page booklets across the 48 passport-issuing outlets outside Nigeria and the 44 outlets in the country, acknowledged that the agency presently has the 64-page booklets in excess but that the demand for it was deficient.

“Our service providers are owed over N16 billion while printed booklets are stuck in warehouses due to our inability to offset these huge debts.

“The Customs Service, DHL and two Nigerian banks are amongst service providers that are insisting on the payment of their outstanding N16 billion balance before the documents would be released to us.

“As a matter of fact, we are meant to understand that the manufacturing firms based in Slovenia, Malaysia, and another in Malta handling the e-passport projects are yet to be reimbursed in line with our agreement to always make payment two weeks after printing and supplying the e-passports,” he stated.

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