The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has included Saturday making it six days as workday in order to meet the demands of passport applicants.
The Ikoyi, Lagos office of NIS is the take-off point for this scheme. This means that applicants can now visit the Ikoyi office to apply and pick up processed passports during the weekend.
Complaints abound in the country for the slow process involved in applying and getting a Nigerian passport.
Speaking to NAN on Saturday, Uju Grace, the public relations officer of the passport office, said her office ran shifts to ease the burden and guard against undue backlogs.
Mannir Yari, the passport control officer of the Ikoyi centre, said the extension of workdays was part of strategies developed by the office to ensure Nigerians accessed NIS service delivery speedily.
“Ikoyi passport is where you can apply and get your passport in a week, in fact, our office has cleared all backlog of the old passport,” he said.
“We are just waiting for applicants to come for collection.”
An applicant who spoke to NAN under anonymity commended the centre for striving hard to meet the demands.
She affirmed that the collection process had become easier and better if compared to some years back.
“I advise the Federal government to employ more hands to meet these ever-increasing demands,” she opined.
“More Nigerians troop to this office to seek for passports, although the banks within NIS premises provide seats and conducive environment for applicants.”
Yetunde Maja, another applicant, decried the time wasted on queues to collect the passports.
“I was scheduled for Friday to collect my passport; however, I have been here close to three hours,” she said.
“Although the queue is moving gradually.”
Recently the new Minister of the Interior, Rauf Aregbesola directed the Service to issue passports within 48 hours.