The Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA) has commended the Federal Government for approving the validity period of the country’s international passport from five to 10 years. President of NUSA, Mr Adetola Olubajo, who gave the commendation in Abuja, described the development as a right measure in a right direction. He, however, called for proper monitoring and speedy implementation of the scheme. “Concrete measures should also be put in place to avoid ripping off Nigerians most especially those of us in Diaspora,” he said. Adetola, who said the approval was an answer to the prayers of the NUSA, commended the efforts of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) for passing across the union’s request for increase in the passport validity. According to him, NUSA made the request during the visit of former Comptroller General (CG) of NIS, Mr Martin Abeshi, to Johannesburg and also during the state visit of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
“It is with great pleasure and jubilation that we received the news of the announcement of the development by CG of NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede. “The Nigerian Union South Africa in the past has pleaded with Federal Government to increase the validity of our passport to 10 years.
“Apart from letters sent to the immigration and President in the past, we also made representation for the validity of passport to be increased to 10 years during the state visit of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. “We however call for speedy implementation and also for measures to be put in place to avoid ripping off Nigerians, most especially, those of us in the Diaspora.” It would be recalled that CG NIS Muhammed Babandede on Thursday announced that President Buhari had approved the extension of validity of Nigeria’s international passport from five to 10 years currently. Also with the approval, the Federal Government can now enter bilateral agreement with other countries for 10 years visa. The CG said that this would mean less work for the service and that the people would have to pay more.
“The President has approved a lot of reforms, one of the reforms is 10 years validity for the passport for adults from the age of 18 upward. “This is great news for Nigerians in the Diaspora, because they have been yearning for this. “The National Assembly has submitted it several times that the passport be 10 years like other parts of the world. The president has approved that,” Babandede said. The CG also noted that in the past months, there had been issues with shortage of the booklet but that has been sorted out. He said that the best solution was to produce the passport here in the country and the NIS was doing the process. “Passport has to be produced in Nigeria. There will be a passport factory in Nigeria,” Babandede said.
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