By Michael Eboh
ABUJA— The cost of acquiring a Nigerian international passport is set to rise in the next couple of days, as the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, yesterday, said it had commenced the process to review its charges.
According to the service, it is no longer possible to produce the passports at the current rates.
Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mr. Muhammad Babandede, disclosed this at the flagging off ceremony for the capacity building programme on Information Communication Technology, ICT, for Immigration officers, organized in conjunction with Huawei Technologies Company, in Abuja.
The ICT training programme, according to Managing Director, Abuja Office of Huawei Technologies, Mr. Tank Liteng, is part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, and had been carefully designed for 500 staff of the NIS for a period of five days in batches of 50 officers per training time at nine different locations across the country.
Liteng expressed optimism that the programme would empower officers of the NIS with appropriate ICT skills, awareness and soft skills that give competitive advantage globally to catch up with the world trends, change Nigeria into the ICT talents centre of the region and the world.
Commenting on the plans to hike the charges for the issuance of the Nigerian passport, Babandede, who did not disclose the take-off date for the new charges, stated that the NIS had written to the Presidency on this issue, and as soon as it receives approval, it would proceed with the review, which would also enable it to deliver better services.
He further warned that if the prices were not reviewed, its revenue to the country would be negatively affected.
He said: “It is not easy for us to pay for booklets because of the cost. You will agree with me that air tickets have doubled in this country. You are aware that a lot of things have changed, but the passport fees have not changed.