The Comptroller-General of Immigration, Caroline Wura-Ola Adepoju, disclosed in a virtual lecture hosted by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) issued more than two million passports in 2023.
Titled ‘New Passport Policy/Processes for Nigerians in the Diaspora Confirmation,’ the lecture discussed the notable surge in passport applications, primarily attributed to the widespread ‘Japa’ movement of mass relocation to developed nations.
Adepoju drew attention to the recent spike in passport issuances, pointing out that 1.3 million passports were issued in 2021 and 1.5 million in 2022—a 50% increase—were issued.
The figures increased by more than 100% in 2023, to a total of 2,141,300 passports issued.
The recent automation of the passport process, which lessens the need for human interaction with immigration authorities, was welcomed by the Comptroller-General. More than 100,000 online applications have been received since the automated system was put into place last month, and more than 80% of them were processed without any problems. The goal of this reform is to lessen the strain on Immigration Service facilities around the country.
The Interior Minister, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, promised Nigerians living abroad that the lengthy waiting period will be eliminated from the passport application procedure.
The Minister and the CGI were praised for their quick accomplishments by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM, who also emphasized the good effects on Nigerians’ well-being.
In a related development, Dr. Yemi Cardoso, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, voiced concern about the growing value of the naira relative to the dollar during a sectoral debate hosted by the House of Representatives. He attributed this increase to growing patterns in medical and educational travel.
In particular, through increased agricultural output, Dr. Cardoso informed the public that the CBN is actively working toward sustainable solutions to reduce inflation down to 21.4%.