The Nigerian government has assured all citizens across the world that it would ease the current tension and agonies being encountered towards obtaining the new ECOWAS e-passport, by installing additional machines in many Nigerian Embassies abroad.
Minister of State for Interior Humphrey Abba made this known in Abuja on Saturday when he received Nigerian Ambassador to the United States Ade Adefuye in his office in Abuja.
“We have already established a passport office in the U.S. to issue passports to Nigerians living there and to change from the old passport to e-passport,” he said.
“We will be deploying more mobile passport machines across to the U.S. because of the large population of Nigerians in the states,” he added.
“There is a good enlightenment program going on in the U.S. about the deadline given to people to get their e-passport registration done so that people are not caught unawares,” the minister said.
Abba, who said the program would end on Dec. 31, called on Nigerians to apply on-line for the passport to the Nigeria Immigration Service.
“If by Dec. 31, you don’t get your e-passport, then it will be difficult for you to embark on foreign travels,” he added.
“We will not want a situation whereby they have to come to Abuja or Lagos before they can get their passport as it was done in the past,” the minister told his audience.
However, a passionate call has gone to the Minister to intensify efforts to ease the tensions in the Nigerian embassy in London.
The rush for the new passports has caused untold suffering for many citizens as many people have to travel hundreds of miles only to the Embassy in London only to realize that appalling conditions created by huge crowd always result in disappointments.
Many have come to the embassy from afar repeatedly only to have their dream of obtaining their passports dashed as the embassy subject workers to forced overwork and ceaseless tension created by huge crowds.
Alistair Soyode, President of Nigerians In the Diaspora Organisation Europe(NIDOE) has urged the Minister to act fast before disasters occur in the Embassy as Embassy officials find it difficult to cope with the crowds.
Last May, Nigeria High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Alhaji Dalhatu Tafida announced some new measures aimed at bringing changes to the Embassy.
The changes include more expansion to create more space and home services to the elderly and the less abled citizens who would require embassy official services.
He said mobile machines would be acquired by the embassy to carry out outdoor services.