According to a report by TheCable, the house of representatives has given the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) 72 hours to clear its backlog of applications for passport booklets.
At the plenary session on Thursday, the green chamber also asked the federal ministry of interior to review its agreement with the passport printing company to boost the production of the booklets.
The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Ugonna Ozurigbo from Imo state.
Many Nigerians have been lamenting their inability to renew their passports or get a new one because the booklets are scarce.
Although the NIS had said the booklets are now available, TheCable understands some are still experiencing challenges and getting theirs both within and outside the country.
As the delay lingers, the common excuse at the various NIS offices and centres is that there is still a backlog of applications to be cleared.
Leading the debate on the motion, Ozurigbo said the long wait for the international passport has brought “untold hardship on Nigerians with urgent needs to travel out of the country.”
“Nigerians who are on medical referrals outside the country are developing needless health complications while waiting for their passports to be issued while those on urgent business trips have missed rewarding opportunities due to the unavailability of passport booklets to enable them to travel,” he said.
Ozurigbo also said the scarcity is “breeding a class of passport racketeers who extort innocent citizens with the promise to assist.”
In adopting the motion, the house also mandated its committees on interior and foreign affairs to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks.